Monday, January 14, 2008

Grrrr…… Extreme Cold in Riyadh ever!

An Arab enjoying the snow in Ar-Ar District in Saudi Arabia last Jan. 10, 2008

Last night, it took me half an hour to get to my badminton session (usually, it took me less than 10 minutes only from my place to the school where I play) via King Fahad Road. Rumours of mass road closures across the city for US president George W. Bush’s visit brought traffic in Riyadh yesterday.
Actually, it was not our usual practice, but since the court was re-painted last week-end, we had to adjust our schedule.
I took a cab and bargain for SR10.00 which I usually haggle to the driver.. take it or leave it…Well in Riyadh, you have to ask first how much the driver will charge you and then negotiate… or tell him how much you will pay and be certain on it.
The confusion surrounding which and when roads would be closed led massive tailbacks on many roads across the city, aside from the corner to corner visibility of patrol cars and military personnel checkpoints along the main roads.
While on our way, I noticed the grimming face of the driver of the limousine everytime he reduced his speed due to bumper-to-bumper situation in King Fahad.
Along the main street, I saw from the Electronic Hygrometer Billboard flashing a -2C temperature! Gosh..for almost half a decade here in Saudi, this is the first time I had experienced extreme coldest here. Years ago, I had experienced hailstones already, but this time, a snowfall is possible to happen here in Riyadh in a couple of days according to a report. As a matter of fact, last January 10, there was already a snowfall in Ar-Ar district, a place in Northern Region in Saudi Arabia and I am so excited to see it happen here in Riyadh.. Just imagine, snow falling in the desert….unbelievable but it’s happening..
The court was almost full when I arrived at 8:30pm, so I warmed-up as I waited for a court to be vacated. Actually there were few players who came… (maybe because they cannot endure the weather outside or they were not informed about the change in schedule) and we were able to play as much as we want.
After few minutes just about to end my warm-up, one court was vacated so I paced-in and play. For me, it was not easy playing this time. I usually wear light shirts & shorts and i had no choice but to wear pants and sweatshirts, which I was not comfortable in court. Moreover, the fleetness of the shuttlecocks is also affected in a frigid atmosphere. You have to adjust your playing techniques in order to gain supremacy in court.
It’s so re-vigorating to take a cup of hot drinks after a game. We’re so thankful that “kapeng barako’ is always available for free during our practices.
We ended our practice around 11:00pm and the weather outside was still unbearable.
I arrived home and had no chance to take a hot shower.. I rested for a while and found my nice sleep at once….
If the extreme coldness affects a shuttlecock (birdies) rapidity in court.. what do you think happen to other ‘birdies’ during sleeptime?... hope you guess it right!

1 comment:

chase said...

oh daddy bush visited the place.. hmmm..

this is the first time i heard about snow and cold weather in KSA.. im so amazed