No more strict rules to bring in the camera into Masjidil Haram, eventhough there are times when they suddenly decided to be strict..but most of the time they don't bother to search your bag like in Masjid Nabawi (Medinah)
The last visit in 2005, let alone camera, my nokia phone with camera was prohibited and they searched the bag and your abaya very strictly.
So this time around I had the opportunity to take photos inside the masjidilharam to show to my siblings which helps them to anticapate when they go to mecca later:)
The period when I was there..quite packed, school holidays for Malaysian and Singapore and summer holidays for some of the countries. It's summer time in Saudi, the temperature in Medinah hit 50 degree Celcius.
Overall this time was ok, except I missed my mom very much (the last time I went with her when Allysha was just 4 months old) but Allah is great, I was given 2 makcik to take care during my time in Medinah, 1 with wheelchair and the other makcik has bladder control problem and she needs to change her diaper each time after prayer.
Both stayed next to my room, in Masjid Nabawi the females and males are separated, hence both Makciks' son were not able to bring them to the mosque, let alone to visit Rhaudah (makam rasullullah)
In Medinah during peak-hours, it really tough to get in and out hence taking her to the nearest toilet was a challenge, plus the nearest was closed, need to go the slightly further toilet
I tried hard to reflect this 'dugaan'.....really..reallly testing and almost gave up..but then thinking of mom and I would like someone to treat my mom well when I'm not around, it helps me to keep going..at the end of the forth day I didnt take those as a burden anymore.....alhamdulillah. I regards those as the magical things..as how on earth in normal situation without Allah's help I was able to get through that..pushing the wheelchair with more than 90kg woman few times a day, taking another makcik to the loo every time after prayer and fighting your way in to the mosque making sure her fragile figure was not pushed by the tough Arab woman...
but again I must have been doing things all the while, without consider other people's hardship etc...you know I always think about me..... and want to do things fast and obstacles or challenges will irk me easily (at least that's what I learn from the experience)
In Mekah..I lost my blackberry while trying to kiss hajaratul aswad. My mom asked me to sembahyang hajat, but I told her I took it as the price I had to pay for pushing myself among others to kiss hajaratul aswad, so I had to buy a local prepaid card to call home..it's so much cheaper compared to roaming charges, I havent received the bill the last time my Maxis bill was more than RM1k for duration of 10 days...this time around I anticipate slightly more:(