Mittwoch, 23. April 2008

Give me an 'A'! Give me a 'R'! Give me an 'A'! Give me a 'M'! Give me a 'C'! Give me an 'O'! What's that spell?!

On our last day in al-Dammam—one day before we flew
back to Berlin—we had the opportunity to visit the huge
American and Saudi Arabian oil company as its abbrevation
says Aramco.
We started very early in the morning to get from our hotel
in Khubr a little town in the neighborhood of al-Dammam
onto the highway to al-Jubayl to the place where Aramco
has its headquater.
The trip took almost an hour. That was exactly the time to
have a good night's rest.
It was a pity that we weren't allowed to make a stop to
visit the Portugues fortress, an archaeological site near to
Ras Tanura from the 15th century which helped them to
force the trading in the region of the Persian Gulf and of
course to protect themself against piracy.
All the talks with our guides from the Ministry of Higher
Education were fizzled out.
Well, after one hour we arrived at Aramco and the same
procedure as every procedure took place after taking a seat
in best room. We got an Arabian coffee to get awake.
Thereafter we introduced ourself before watching the
Thereupon we had the chance to ask our question to the
CEO of this oil company.
After being transported to the companies museeum we joined
an English guidance through it.
First I thought we are allowed to catch a glimpse of these
awesome oil production machines but then they put us of
to take part in this English guidance.
It was nice to linger for a while in the museum but after I
got standardized answers to my questions I felt a little bit
of beeing fed up. I was looking forward to get at least a
whiff of critical answers.
Thank God! In due time I was getting appetite and that
distracted me from the guidance.
After our visitation we got chauffeured to the companies
restaraunt. It was in the middle of another small town in
the town full of bungalows for the craftsmen of the company.
The meal was as every time delicious.
It was served in due course for my ravenous appitete.
In the restaurant I was sitting next to an engineer. But what
should I talk with him about? About engineering? Or about
oil extraction? Forget it! Of course, about football.
I asked him if football is the most popular sport in Saudi
Arabia, so, what's number two on the podium?
He had been hasitating before replying there is now number
two. Accordingly I had to laugh intestine.
But we didn't have the time to enjoy our lunch. Our timetable
was such tighten that the last ones who were getting the meal at
the edge of the table had to wolf it down before getting kicked
out of the restaurant.
Our place shifted from the restaurant to the best room to
get immediatly after our lunch an Arabian coffee.
Was there any time to digest or even to breathe deeply?
Fortunately we were cupable to force our busdriver and, of
course, first, our guides to make a rest at the companies
artifical construced beach.
It was a blessing to enjoy the sand between our toes and under
our soles of foot. We toodled alongside the beach in the Persian
But we were loosing time too quickly. On the same day, first,
we had to return from al-Dammam to Jiddah before flying back
to Berlin.
Thus we had to hurry back to our bus to reach our plane on time.
It was a pity to have such a hustle and bustle on our last sunny
day in March, because we knew that clowdy and stormy weather
would expect us in Germany.
After sitting in the airplane I realized that this had been my last
day for a while in Saudi Arabia. I felt a little bit woefully.
Stop! There were still four hours sojourn in Jiddah...

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