Just less than a week after I came back from vacation, I was up again for yet another tiring out-of-town trip further north in Yanbu in time for the re-opening of our new shop in that city. I don't usually fret over workload instead I got thrilled at the prospect of brushing off some cobwebs accumulated from a month-and-half vacation. There was no time slacking off as tons of work awaited us yet totally buoyed to visit the city after a long hiatus.
If my memory serves me right, our last visit to Yanbu was way back in 2009 when our store was still new and not really one of our top priorities to visit. Now, the once little store in the corner has more than doubled its size with an entirely modern design and fittings. So it was required of us to prepare the new store for its grand 'reopening'.
This was also the first time for us to take the plane to Yanbu. We usually rent a car or get someone to drive us to go there. Yanbu is approximately 470 kms. from Jeddah, so it's not near by any stretch of imagination, though you'll reach the place with eyes closed, they say, if not permanently closed :) There is only one road to take to get there, so the chances of one getting lost to Yanbu is nil, except if you ignored the massive street sign that welcomes you to Madinah, (a forbidden city for people like me) that branches out from the main road to your right. So, 3 hours maximum is all you get to expend on the road, that is if you feel you are 'king of the road' in an SUV, otherwise 4 hours is not bad if your rented sedan barely can keep its balance when ten-wheelers and bigger vehicles bully you to the edge of the road.
By contrast, commercial plane will be too slow if you don't get there in over 40 minutes, in fact a sports page of an English daily is all you need before you realize altitude is already plunging in haste for landing. You don't always experience being so wanted and adored all your life but at the airport, throngs of taxi driver are ready to lose reputation just to win you over at a bargain. Whoever has the lowest bid gets to carry your bag and head out to your location in a jiffy. Thankfully for us, our staff had been early at the airport and did the haggling.
It was so convenient for us because our shop is at the same building of the hotel where we stayed for the night. Kentucky and Hardees are just across the street so meals just come in handy. The bad thing is, going to the beach as earlier planned had to be scrapped due to time constraint. But no regret, the stay was all worth it. We completed our work earlier than our estimate so we had ample rest before we headed back to the airport. Overall, everything went smoothly except for some glitches when supposedly no one was to take us back to the airport due to lack of transportation facilities.
At the last minute though, one old Saudi emerged to our rescue but not after he got the fare safely tuck in his pocket. One of our staff went out of his way to find this guy for us. Again, the anxious episode did not end there when it was almost late for us to get a boarding pass. This fine old man seemingly oblivious of time subjected us yet again to a long wait while he haggled for four watermelons on the road that maybe he will gladly gift his waiting wife and children. And that wait seemed endless as we raced against time, battling well-guarded tantrums at bay. Patience is always a virtue, that I can vouch to, and we reached our destination on time. Indeed, all is well that ends well. Thank you Lord Jesus for our safety.
Saudia Airline to Yanbu.
Prince Abdul Mohsin Bin Abdulaziz Airport of Yanbu.
When we arrived at the shop from the airport.
Checking in at the hotel.
Going to KFC for lunch before working.
At Heaven Juices on the 2nd day of our stay.
Fresh pomegranate juice and avocado shake at Heaven Juices.
Traditional lunch from a restaurant across the street.
With our shop staff in Yanbu.
View of the mannequins & street from the back of the window.
At the boarding gate to Jeddah.
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It's Mine Fashion,
Omar ibn al-Khattab Street,
Yanbu, Saudi Arabia