Saying “it’s hot” in London (or anywhere in Europe, actually) can never compare to a Jeddah summer. Never to disappoint, Jeddah was a balmy 35 with the sun having not even risen completely as I walked down the steps from the plane. But wait, let’s rewind a bit!

Anticipating the weekend too early, I had a lie in on Friday and went out for a run first thing. As the adrenaline slowed down and hunger began to growl, I was already close to Euston where I was meeting my friend for lunch. After talking about halwa with him in Vienna, I had promised that we would go for a proper halwa poori breakfast when he got back to London. And yet I was to disappoint because the closest place I could find that was serving it was in Zone 4. Instead, we decided to just try something close to uni. Without a plan, we walked into an Indian place called “Bhel Poori” and as it was lunch time, we were greeted with an open buffet of all vegetarian food. The first round was a sampling session where we tried the 20 odd dishes with no labels. The next time around, we closed into the ones we enjoyed which included a spinach dish, a creamy mixed vegetable one and a reddish one with paneer. Sorry I am unable to name them (or even identify again without tasting) but here is a picture.

I had come to uni with my rollerblades and after a final meeting with my professor, I was planning to study until the Friday Night Skate. But the sky decided to change my plans as around 5pm, it split open and poured down. There were super strong winds and it seemed like the rain was dancing as I watched from the top floor of the building.

Saturday was a frantic packing and deep clean day. With a plan to leave home at 4, I only had a couple of hours to get the house sorted out and get my bags packed before heading towards the airport. Because it was right in the middle of Hajj season, my documents had to be checked more thoroughly so check in took a while.

Having studied at an international school where almost all of us ended up studying abroad, we somehow always end up on the same flights during term time as we go between the UK and Jeddah. This time was less likely though as we are in the middle of summer holiday, but I ended up on the same flight as an old school friend.

The plan of falling asleep or watching movies vanquished as we got to sit next to each other and spent the 6 hours of the flight nostalgically living old school memories interspersed with deep philosophical discussions.

Being driven back on the wide roads of Saudi, what’s going to happen next? Well the next post shall tell!