Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Night Rendezvous in Khartoum

I left my house at 11pm, a big mistake in view of my flight being at 12.55am. Not intended but due to bad fever, eyesight deteriorated too. A seven hours flight brought me to Dubai. Stayed in transit hotel till 12 noon before checking out to go to Dubai Airport. Flight was at 2.40pm but delayed for one hour and finally arrived in Khartoum International Airport at 6.20pm (Malaysian time, 11.20pm). A solid 24 hours trip.

Good thing I was on Business Class so the luggage bags came out quite fast. Thanks to two of my Malaysian colleagues who came to pick me up. They waited for a very long time. The best thing is you can't enter the airport's arrivals hall. You can only wait outside, breathing in the fine sand filled atmosphere. No notice board or any digital board showing you which plane was landing or departing. Just guess by the hearing of an airplane's engine sound behind the building ...... hehe. Welcome to Sudan.

No photos here as it was not allowed. I still remember my first trip to Sudan in year 2004. Upon coming down from the plane, I entered a shuttle bus which will ferry you to the arrivals hall. Inside the bus itself, I snapped a picture of a row of planes that lined up nicely, with each of the plane's cockpit nose pointing out.

Soon, a man in plainclothes, shouted at the bus driver to open the back door of the bus. I was instructed to come down. Three guys came at me. I was the tallest amongst us but felt very small indeed at that second. They spoke in Arabic pointing at my digital camera (the worse thing is that was not my camera). I knew there and then that I was not permitted to take photo and courage built-up instantly telling them that I could erase that photo.

One of this security fella tried to press this and that button hoping to do something. In fact, he doesn't know but ego wise, wouldn't want to hand it to me or his colleague. The third security fella could understand a bit of english and I told him that the picture could be deleted from my camera but first, hand it to me. You wouldn't want to snatch it from them.

Coolly, I took the camera from the ego nose sticking up fella who looked at me angrily and showed them the step by step to delete that picture from my camera. Then showed them again by snapping a picture of the ground and delete it too.

They allowed me to board another bus to go to the arrivals halls. When that situation was happening, the first and second bus' passengers were looking at the commotion. Malu lah!

Can't blame them, not all have seen a digital camera. So, this was a very tough lesson that I have learnt on my very first second touching the ground of Sudan. What a memory! Priceless and money or any credit cards can't buy it.

Only armed with my Sony P990i mobile phone's camera, this is the best that I could do. We can take photos privately but try not to capture other people's wife or girlfriend lah ....... otherwise we can't save you too.

Here, my colleagues Nazril and Fairuz.
Peter and Amin (enjoying his Grape juice). I ordered Mango juice.
Feri in red. It rhymes.

Don't know what's the name of the shop. It was in Arabic. Tell you the name also no point as you won't come to this place. We were served with raw vegies, something like those french loaves and that spicy sauce in the small plate right in the centre. My, the carrot was really tough. The green leafs were spicy naturally.
Our real meal came later. This was the lamb's bones where its meat has been taken out to be served on a different plate.
The roasted chicken. I can say it's really well done!
With me just recovering from my fever, this fellas brought me to this place to eat such over roasted and well burnt chicken.
This is the fried lamb meat in cube form now. Not very tasty but it was edible (that's the most important). After the dinner, straight back to our home. Only entertainment was our TV or internet.
Tags: Lamb, Roasted Chicken, Khartoum, Sudan

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9 Comments:

Blogger Convivialdingo said...

The only thing I have from Sudan is goats :-) They're Nubian dairy goats. They're great for the hot Texas weather we have.

31 July, 2008 04:18  
Blogger Nkw@i said...

wow, a good experience.....never thought that their security is so tight! =D
how your fever after you had your over done chicken dinner ?=D

31 July, 2008 08:47  
Anonymous cc said...

Quite a scary experience.

31 July, 2008 11:16  
Blogger Borneo Falcon said...

They sure strict about the taking photos at Sudan's airport. Wonder why

31 July, 2008 12:18  
Blogger Sweet Jasmine said...

What an experience with the camera...it seems you do get good food over there compare to most skeleton liked hungry africans but watch out for the toxic carbon in your overdone chicken....

31 July, 2008 14:40  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

conviv - hahaha, ok that's considered

nkwa@i - my fever has left me on mon afternoon, b4 i took the connecting flight to sudan

cc - oh yes. didnt expect that also. none of my colleagues knew it too

borneo - esp the airport. one thing most of them wldn't know is google map has the whole airport clearly mapped out. wait till i show them tat .... numskull

jasmine - as long as u have money to spend, there are some better places to go. over here, the gap between the rich and have nots is way toooooo big

01 August, 2008 04:34  
Anonymous Dora said...

The food mostly look like over-burnt? Yeah they are very sensitive when you simply snapping photos, better ask them before taking any photos. (scared of being taken with someone's wife...)

01 August, 2008 13:25  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

dora - overburnt is sudan style .... haha. we are very careful when we take pics after my incident which everyone knew.

02 August, 2008 02:08  
Blogger Ezalman said...

That's fried kharuf (sudan sheep), served Eastern Sudan/Red Sea style, at a restaurant called Aluaha, in Khartoum 2. The Western Sudan (or Darfur) way of cooking the kharuf is usually served in Ombdurman (Kandahar, the livestock market)

05 October, 2008 20:04  

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