One day I’m in the heart of Arabia, performing Hajj amidst more than two million Muslims, and a few days later I find myself walking up and down the hilly streets of San Francisco. I had two days between these trips to unpack and repack. Two days!
Masood is unwell so we’re just taking it slow today for him to recuperate and for me to update this blog. While we were quite healthy during Hajj, alhumdulillah, I began coughing twenty-four hours after we returned home. I have never had this sort of cough in my life: the kind that racked my body, kept me up all night, made me sound like a toad with pharyngitis, and felt like I’d cough out my lungs any minute. I insisted that we slept in separate rooms until I was no longer contagious but Masood thought it was a ridiculous idea and now, five days later, he sounds like a toad with pharyngitis.
Hajj has been quite a unique experience. Every person performing Hajj will tell you a different story. I had voraciously read other people’s experiences through their blogs or articles online and have mentally and physically prepared myself to face what seemed to be the most difficult and strenuous journey of my life. But by the Almighty’s Grace, I had the most comfortable and luxurious Hajj experience. In fact, towards the last couple of days, I pondered on the ease with which all the rituals were being performed and, for a second, wished for some sort of hardship to justify Hajj. They say almost all prayers are answered during Hajj; I can testify to that fact because the very next day I was almost crushed in a sea of people pushing and shoving, fainting and crying. Really, one should only wish for good things.
I still have a couple more weeks before we fly back home to Dubai. I am so excited to share with you all the details of Hajj but I need to be in the right state of mind and place to do that. So I’ll probably begin writing about it by end of October.
In the meantime, I am deriving immense pleasure from checking and comparing the weather every three hours. I’m glad we are able to escape the desert heat even for a few weeks.
Oh, and I’m still upset over the fact that my first view of the Golden Gate bridge has been obscured by thick fog.
On a more positive note, we took a hop on/hop off bus (and sat on the top, of course) whilst crossing the bridge and it was like sailing amidst thick clouds. It was also incredibly windy and cold. Quite an experience, I should say.
Thank you to my friends and readers who have followed my updates on Facebook. You guys are the best and make me feel loved. To the bloggers that I admire and follow, I miss reading you guys!