And... We Are Back!

As I was flying back to my prison, I had my last gin and tonic just before the SriLankan A320 entered the Saudi airspace. I held the disposable plastic cup in my hand for a brief moment, and gulped down the contents promptly, stretched myself to relieve my benumbed nether regions and prayed to God that there won’t be any hassle at the Saudi Customs. Not because a considerable amount of my blood cells have been displaced by a great volume of alcohol – thanks to my liquid diet over the last 5-6 days – I was seriously worried about the two books on Buddhism hidden amongst the other reading material in my back-pack. Detecting the books on Buddhism could lead to alcohol, and vice versa – both of which are banned in the Holy Land of the Moslems. Saudi authorities are known to be one of the worst (if not the worst) in the entire world, one must be unfortunate enough to experience them first-hand to understand the true meaning of this statement.

A knew a British couple who lived in Jeddah a while ago. Their latest addition to the family was born in the Kingdom and the couple decided to head back to England for the Christmas holidays. They were stopped at the airport and not allowed to leave, because the baby’s birth certificate claimed he’s a Christian, just like the parents. Naturally.

Technically, and according to tradition, NO non-Moslem is born in the Holy land of the Moslems.

The parents had two options. Change the kid’s religion – which could take as long as “Inshah Allah” takes, or call the British Embassy for assistance. They resorted to the latter and managed to head home just in time for the annual family gathering, albeit the hassle and delay at the airport over silly technicalities.

Then there was this other friend of mine who was followed around the block by the religious Police in an unmarked car, as he went jogging along, one fine Friday morning. He was stopped, taken in, and detained for 24 hours – for “wasting time and not getting ready to get to the mosque for Friday prayers on time.”

These, and many other horror stories were flashing before me as I stood there at the long queue at the Customs. I was thanking my gin and tonic intake for preparing me for a possible good night’s sleep on a cold cement bench somewhere, should the unthinkable happen.

My bones were cold, and I felt frozen in time. I felt the longest minute in my life as I waited for my turn.

Five minutes later, I discovered God.

I mean, I discovered that he exists. Somewhere. Somewhere, where he could watch me, and watch over me.

For a brief but essential moment, he was looking down on me. No hassle, no harassment at the Customs and and He let me out in a flash. I almost regretted the fact that I didn’t copy some naughty movies to my iPod, or tuck-in some Playboy magazines, but then again, that would have been pushing my luck, just a tad too much.

I think even the Almighty himself agrees that there is no punishment worse than having to spend time in Saudi Arabia. This country is not exactly the most desirable place on earth – and He must have spared me from the tiny trouble at the Customs. He must have been looking at the big picture and spared the details, since I am paying for my sins already.

I’m sure He must have watched me with a cheeky grin on his gracious face as I walked out of the terminal unhindered by the authorities – to my own prison, at my own will...

God or not, I was out – unharmed and untouched, and in one piece.

So here I am, back after the Big Match. And the Stag Night. And the Cabaret. And the Russian Lesbo act. And... and, and... lots of things that are “haram” in the land of the two Holy Mosques.

Here I am, miles and miles away from home, away from my Paradise isle. Here I am, back in my virtual life in Taprobane.

Much has happened in my absence, much to be read and much to be digested and deliberated. There is the Part 3 and beyond of the “Advertising in Sri Lanka” that needs to be written – all in due time, since time is all I’d have in abundance in the days to come.


  1. Dammit, I missed the Russian Lesbo act now didn't I?! Shit, for the first time in 5yrs too, double damn.

    Sorry man, I should sympathize with you considering where you just got back to, but at least you got to see the LA, dammit I missed it!

  2. And the bastards expect special prayer rooms in Australia. At my uni, we go and pee in their wash basins at night.

  3. Where the hell have you been man?
    You were missed!
    Get to work now! And give us some more posts... :D

  4. if you dont like the saudis so much why the heck are you going there.is their money or whatever good that you have to be a hypocrite to keep on blabbering about the situation there,nobody is forcing you to go there,i think you are going there on your own free will.so please spare us the holy shit and make your greedy bucks whilst you are cursing your benefactors like all the usual ungrateful slobs in this ungrateful damn world.not that i like the saudis myself(thats why i dont go there).May you rot in your own hell hole.

  5. Anonymous,

    I hate the Saudi “system” as much as I hate ours. Many Saudi's themselves hate their system too. I hate the short-sighted Saudi’s as much as I hate short-sighted Sri Lankans. I hate the ignorant people who think they know it all – be it Sri Lanka, Australia or Saudi Arabia – it doesn’t matter. My blog is about my experiences and my views on life at large, and I don’t hate people – but whenever there is something wrong with the “system” or the “attitude” I am not afraid to say so. It doesn’t matter who or where.

    Please don’t generalise, I have quite a few great friends from this land who are more closer to my heart than some of the opportunistic “friends” from other places – including Sri Lanka. If you are a Sri Lankan who has travelled a bit, you’d would know more about what I’m talking about.

    And yes, I am here for the money. I never claimed otherwise. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. And I also clearly said in my post that I am here at my own will, no one put a gun to my head to send me here.

    If I have offended you by any means, I apologise. I’m sorry you hate the Saudi’s. I don’t.

  6. yes i can understand your point of view but i hope that you will understand that though we all have our problems there are certain rules that are followed in certain countries,if one cannot live by those rules it is better to stay away from those places rather than make rude comments about their type of life which is alien to us.Maybe our type of life is alien to them and considered barbaric,so what i want to say is that if we are going somewhere play and live by their rules even if it is not to our liking
    sorry that i had to be anonymous because i did not know how to enter my name for this is the first time i am commenting online,the urge was too much to resist.anyway i like your style of writing more strength to you

  7. I keep remembering your old post about the evils of drink. (Remember the list you made?) Now it sounds like you forgot your own good advice!

  8. Anonymous 2: Hah ha ha! Of Course I do remember. What can I say, guilty as charged!!

  9. Hey.... :-) So you had a good time and back to prison???? Saudi really is. Me being a muslim, I do have certain reservation about that place. Buggers are bloody barabaric arabs !! I've been there many times, but mostly to Macca & Madina. Except for these two places, the rest sucks....Totally agreed.... I've posted a few stuff and missing your thought provoking two cents :-)

  10. :) this reminds me of the time they took all my music CDs on the pilgrimage to Mecca. I was so mad and I am pretty sure they understood my cursings, seconds later my uncle returned with the music CDs. My cousins joined us from America about a a few weeks later and she had no trouble coming in with the CDs. I don't mind S.Arabia but to enjoy life in anyway even to consider being naughty would be a real challenge.