Saturday, August 22, 2009

Three Days Worth

Wow okay, so a lot had happened since I left tanah airku tercinta, Malaysia. Wanted to update earlier but had been too busy to even find time to get online. So here’s the best of what my memory can recall of the last three days.

Left KLIA on the 19th. To my family members and two best friends, thank you so much for sending me off. A special thanks to Kak Yong who shouted both our names, even though I know it’s more fun for you :p Anyway from KLIA we transit in Incheon. My feet were bloody hurting while looking for the transfer desk. From there we said our final goodbye to Pia because the two of us had to catch an earlier flight at 10.40, local time. So we just sat drinking Lente Coffee Latte while I went online. Bought a calling card but can’t figure out how to use it :p So that card and the extra 2000 Won will be souvenirs for Kak Wani.

From Incheon to Dulles we did not get to sit together. So for the 13 HOURS we flew Korean Air, I was sitting between two Koreans. Yes, I was in the middle. Thank God for the good entertainment on board. But I have to say, MH really fits as MALAYSIAN HOSPITALITY when compared to others... Once we arrived in DC there was not much holding up during the immigration. Just that the officer thought we were brother and sister. And then the other interesting thing was that we heard him asking another officer, “Is Malaysia in that list? Just checking.” It got us wondering...what list...... Then we got our bags and moved on to finding the check in counter. That was the bump because we were really lost, although it’s a small airport. But it was a good experience figuring out the new system we’re not used to. In the elevator, the first non official person we meet, an airport employee greeted us with a Salam. He thought we were Philippines. For me it was a good sign of our arrival.

The best part of our adventure at Dulles is the security check before we could board. I was asked to step into a glass cubicle for almost 10 minutes. No, they were not holding me up for unnecessary reasons. They just want to do the procedural body search and the male officer was not sure if he can touch my scarf, so the waiting part of a female officer took a lot of time. But I felt sorry for the old lady that was asked to be in the cubicle with me. She was fifty-ish, I think, and a bit scared. She kept on telling me to recite Lailahaillallah. She was Moroccon. She kept on talking to me in Arabic. Why can’t Middle Easterners accept that not ALL Muslims can speak Arabic?

It only took 35 minutes for us to reach Pittsburgh from DC. Oh did I mention that we were the last passengers to board all because of that hold up? Anyway. When we arrived I was exhausted out of my mind. I thought Aishah, the nice senior who offered to pick us up, had to work so she could only be able to arrive later; so we slept. But apparently she had been at the airport around the same time we arrived. Some instinctive voice asked Rassyid to look over at the lady in black scarf and we’re lucky it was her.

Aishah took us to dinner at an Indian restaurant, Tandoor. And then she drove us around for a personal tour of Pittsburgh. That night she wanted to take us to Walmart but the moment I get on the bed I did not wake up until the next morning. How exhausted I was.

The next day we went for the OIS (Office of International Student) orientation. Unfortunately we were not able to meet that many new students except for the three Chinese and one Taiwan boy at our table. But during ‘bingo’ a Chinese girl suddenly came up to me. We chatted a bit and then she offered the Salam. I asked if she’s Muslim and she said no, but she came from a community where there are many Muslims so she liked Muslims.

After orientation we had nowhere to go for Aishah had to work. So we decided to find our way to the ICP (Islamic Center of Pittsburgh). We were not sure of the EXACT location but we were willing to take the chance because we have not done our Dhuhr prayers. After 30 minutes, we found it. Then we called Aishah to pick us up from there. But I was thirsty so I wanted to find something to drink. And that led us back to William Pitt Union. We were disappointed to find all the shops closed!
Wanted to call Aishah from there but our calling card ran out of credit. What else to do but walked all the way up the hill to ICP and waited there.

Aishah had dinner plan with a Malaysian lady she met on the street. The nice lady, Auntie Azida, invited us too once she found out we were with Aishah. She and her husband, Steve, were very nice people. They welcomed us to their home and treated us to a traditional Malay dinner as a celebration to welcome Ramadhan. Once we were done with dinner, they went to ICP to perform Tarawikh but I was too tired from walking to and from ICP that I decided to stay home. And once again, the moment my head hit the pillow I didn’t even hear Rassyid calling me.

This morning had sahur and now fasting the first time in America. Activity for today? Shopping and perhaps moving in to our own apartment :)



sulin said...

LOL - have a happy Ramadhan! It's not Malaysia anymore so I don't even know the puasa month started until i see Fb starting to have puasa statuses...have great fun in America!

elly said...

awesomeness syaza! behave.

Miszunderstood said...

U know me too well ek?

They only need to have me to shout both ur names when the other party need the whole family.

tp bila dgr kak yong jerit lg kuat, diorang lwn balik plak. pastu man sebok2 cakap; "haaa, lawan kak yong. lawan"

apa ko ingat aku ni 15 tahun, man?

-kak yong-

Rassyid said...

syaza happy ler internet dah masuk kt umah ni. hmph..

ChEsZa said...

Hampeh la u Elly, I'll TRY to behave. Hehe.

Hahahaha korg due pun hampeh.