In our latest assignment, we were posted to Dubai and when the first level was done, we moved to Sharjah for the testing phase and after almost a month or so, it was time to upgrade the assignment to the next level. How time flies fast!
So, yesterday morning (at 4.00 to be exact), we packed our things and headed to Dubai International Airport, still with sleepy eyes and some uncertainty in our minds.
There, we were met by the representatives from our client and within a couple of hours later, we were safely on board a plane, cruising at 29,000 feet with a very beautiful landscape of the ground. More than 50% of the passengers in the plane seems to be Americans but most were sleeping and ignorant of the beautiful landscape below. Hmm, perhaps they have been here before.
After 2 and half hours and after making tight twist turnings amidst high mountains, we finally landed and the plane stopped next to a C130 Hercules transport plane. A US Army Black Hawk helicopter was touching down, couple hundred metres away. This was certainly not one of those ordinary international airports that you have been to.
Take a wild guess where are we now?
Perhaps I may be the only Malaysian from Puchong and probably a handful Malaysians who ever step our foot in this country. Immigration, custom clearance and luggage handling was fast and quick due to our customer’s right connection with the government representatives.
The reality, however, kicked in when we step out the airport and was immediately greeted by the sight of US Army Humvees, local armed guards and heavily defended security checkpoint. It is made worse (but not necessarily dangerous) when our brand new Toyota Landcruiser made a sudden stop and an armed guard with a loaded AK-47 joined us in the passenger side to accompany us to our final destination.
On the roadside, there is plenty of reconstruction work is aggressively being done whilst those damaged during the war are being torn down. There were plenty of soldiers at strategic places and a couple of United Nations vehicles zooming through the local traffic.
When we reached the customer’s office, we had to go through 2 security checkpoint (both heavily guarded) and metal detector machine before we reached the office. Of course, for us, we were given a “VVIP” pass at these checkpoints. After a short break at the office with local tea and superb buffet lunch, we were “dying” to take a shower and a badly needed nap.
Whilst we ride on to our hotel, I could remember the big signboard that greeted us at the airport – “Welcome to Kabul“. Kabul – wasn’t this as dangerous as Baghdad? This certainly going to be a very interesting experience in the next few weeks.
A blogging history indeed!