Thai version

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The plane starts to descend and it circles wide around the airport

I watch out the window as Jeddah fades from sight and is hidden in the clouds. Soon we are on our flight path to Khamis Mushayt. When the plane levels out the stewardess start serving the snacks. I remember what happen on the flight last night. Sure hope that it does not happen again today. When the snacks are finished the stewardess pick up the trays. Everything is pick up and put away. When they announce to fasten our seat belts that we will be landing in Khamis Mushayt shortly. We are in our final approach and my ears are popping. Then without any announcement the plane pulls out of the landing in Khamis Mushayt. It heads south, and then an announcement is made. The plane has to go to Yemen and will return shortly to Khamis Mushayt.

We continue heading south. It seems like a long time but is really only a short time before the plane starts descending again. We are unable to see anything out the windows. We are told to put on our seat belts again and prepare for landing. Then the plane starts to descend and it circles wide around the airport then it gets into the correct flight path. It slowly descends and we can feel the wheels touch down on the runway. Then the brakes are applied and the engines back thrust slow the plane. The plane taxis to a place at the strange airport and is guided to a place to stop. We are unable to see anything out the windows expect the cars awaiting the disembarking passengers. Then a stairway is brought to the just landed plane. The plane door is opened in the first class section, and then about six people get off the plane. We are told to remain aboard that we are unable to get off here. The plane door is closed, and then the stairs are removed from the flight. The flight has just made an unscheduled stop in Yemen. It seems some Saudi prince wanted to go to Yemen before the flight landed in Khamis Mushayt. After the stairs are removed, the stewardess starts through the safety procedure again. The engines gather thrust and move us down the taxiway to the runway. We turn onto the runway and the plane gains speed and we move down the runway gaining speed. Soon I can feel the wheels leave the ground and we are airborne again on our way back to Khamis Mushayt again.

It seems like hours that we are airborne but my watch shows only a short time. The PA systems announces again for us to get ready for landing, put on your safety belt, put away your tray table and etc. Soon the plane begins to descend and we can see the mountains surrounding Abah and Khamis Mushayt. We continue our descent and soon I can fell the wheels touch down onto the runway. Then comes the brakes and the breaking of the engine to slow the plane. When the plane has finally slowed enough to taxi we reach a taxi way and the plane turns on it, it takes us to the airport. We soon arrive at the airports unloading zone and the plane is guided to where the plane will stop for unloading. Then we wait for the ground crew to move the stairway into position. When the stairs are into position the plane door opens. All the passengers collect their hand luggage and their other carry ons. The people hurry and the two columns are funneled into one column as the passengers hurry to exit the plane. Everybody seems to be in a hurry to leave the plane before something else happens. It is a long time before that I will get on another flight to Jeddah.

At least Saudia does not try to charge us for the trip to Yemen. I had been their before by going through Jazin. I did not have my passport so just gave the guard 50 riyals and wondered off for the day with a note that they had given to me. This allowed me to cross back across into Saudi Arabia without any trouble. Jazin is an old port area very dirty very crowded. They do not have the mechanical means to unload the ships. So most of the unloading of the ships is done by hand by the Yemen’s. They unload lots of ships carrying cement and when the people unloading the ship finish they look like a sack of cement themselves. All that cement dust cannot be good for their health. However that is the only way they can make money legally. A lot of Yemen’s sneak across the border to work in Saudi Arabia because of the oil boom has allowed lots of money to be spent on construction.

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