I traveled with D this morning so I could have my visa renewed. It needs to be renewed every 6 months and my deadline was Thursday of this week. Wow, I can’t believe it has been 6 months since I first went there to get my Igama (approval to travel to SA) and multi-entry visa.
I looked forward to the trip over as the guys (3 or 4 in our building car pool each day) are always telling me about the commute and all of the stops they make.
#1 Checkpoint for insurance
# 2 Bahrain Immigration
# 3 Saudi Immigration
# 4 Checkpoint for dangerous materials (search of the car)
# 5 Check point to turn in the insurance verification
On the way back to Bahrain it is reversed. Sometimes D will call me from the Bahrain immigration check point as it is usually only 20-25 minutes from there until he is home. The complete trip can take from 90 minutes to 4 hours. It just depends on security and traffic. Right now they are on heightened security.
|This is serious scaffolding on a tower at the mid way point.|
|An island just off the causeway with a complex for one of the SA Royals.|
|Another check point.|
|Searching the car.|
|Another check point.|
Trip Advisor actually named them #3 of 7 Things to Do in Al Khobar. It is an extremely interesting place.
The store is located just around the corner from D’s office but he insisted I could not walk over there alone.
One of the engineers was assigned to escort me and we ventured out. I am sure I could have walked alone, but in SA women are supposed to be escorted everywhere. UGH!
|My escort - it is a hard job but someone had to do it.|
This is a fabulous store and they had so many wonderful things that I have to go back again SOON. I picked out 2 camel saddle stands and arranged for some custom saddle pillows.
The fabric for the saddle pillow is woven in India but it is a traditional Saudi pattern. I picked out some fabric and it will take a month for the pillows to be completed.
This is the fabric they will use for my camel saddle cushions. It is going to look great in the Arabic bedroom I have planned -- or maybe the living room flanking the fireplace?
Since we arrived in the Middle East, I have not spent hardly anything on items to take back - except carpets. I know D is saying in a loud voice - CARPETS! But, other than beautiful carpets, I have bought very little. So today I purchased a wonderful henna box and camel candleholder – with some other great finds. It was a terrific and fun shopping trip. I had a BLAST!
Everything seemed to be going okay except the approval for my visa renewal did not arrive when we thought it would arrive.
Instead D received a text message that my visa had been canceled. OOOPS!
After a few conversations with the HR department, we were back on our way to getting the needed approval.
Whewww! That was close. However, I did go prepared with an emergency overnight kit. You never know what might happen when you drive over the causeway into the Kingdom.
I forgot to get D to snap my picture on the way into SA so I took this one after I arrived back at the flat.
I wore a new abaya that I purchased in the Souq with granddaughter ML when she was visiting in March. I really like it. A little teal, a little floral, just enough to give it some flare.
D arranged for a driver to take me home around 1PM. It was a fun day however when my driver crossed over into Bahrain, off came the hijab (head scarf). How in the world do women wear those things all the time?