Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Thief, the Toothbrush and the Singlet

Exhibit 1 - Toothbrush

Private ownership over your clothes and toiletries is no protection for your assets when four people are staying in one hotel room, as I found out in my pilgrimage. Terrible... thieves in the midst!

One the first day in Medina al-Munawarra, the City of the Prophet Muhammad, I was about to take a shower, when I was faced with a dilemma - which toothbrush was mine? I knew that mine was green, but there were two of them in the tumbler. One was dark green, another in a lighter fluorescent green. The latter looked prettier, so I thought my toothbrush was the duller green, thinking that surely I would have remembered if mine looked the colour of Kickapoo (a radiation green soft drink). 1st mistake.

On the very next day, I found a white singlet on my bed. Now surely this must be mine. I had a singlet. And it was white, I remember. Okaay, putting it on now... hmm, maybe a little tight around the torso but its (L) sized. Hmm... must be mine! I resolved in my head. Mistake Numero Duo.

Exhibit 2 - Men's Singlet

Life was good in Medina (I shan't jump the gun here, as the story about Medina will be a separate posting later) and on the 5th and last day, I was packing up my stuff for my Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca (about 500km away). The others have all packed and were busy lugging their bags out of the room. While busy in my morning ablution, I noticed there my toothbrush was missing. "Oh oh." I thought. But the bright green one was there, in the tumbler - damning evidence that I have been unlawfully misappropriating someone's toothbrush.

After one week in Mecca, and on the last morning before our flight back, I finally asked my roommates who actually owned the toothbrush that I had inadvertently been using for 4 days in Medina - It turns out that it was Udin, who looked at me with disbelief and sorrowfully saying, "Oh, why oh, why did you have to tell me that, bro..." I also admitted to them that I think I may have been using another man's singlet, which immediately turned out to be Arjuna's. Since I have turned his singlet from (L) to (XL) by my use, I said I will just keep it as a souvenir and token of friendship. He laughed, I suppose because he saw the inevitability of my conclusion. The only roomie which I did not mistakenly use his garment or toiletry was Ijan. I wished I did. I didn't intend to make him feel left out, you know.

To be frank, things were not perfect in the pilgrimage. The rooms were okay in Medina but were minuscule in Mecca. Yet, I believe that I would not have enjoyed my Umrah as much as I did if the trip was more comfortable or more convenient. The degree of ease and difficulty were just so. The degree of good food and bad food were just so. The weariness of travel and enjoyment of sleep were just so. Perhaps one of the best thing which was perfect and complete was the camaraderie I felt in the group. Now that was not just so, it was simply perfect.
. Have a great Thursday, sunshine! Pax Taufiqa.

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