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The first thing to think about arriving at Jeddah airport is toilets. Over 13 hours in the air across the country is now a tough struggle. Moreover, leaving the middle of the night, wuih morning habits should be held until all the muscles vibrate and cold sweat pouring. Plus the condition of the toilet on a dirty plane.
I think when stopping at Ahmedabad airport in India passengers are allowed to the toilet. Apparently not. Forcibly should be arrested. Once a friend of the story, there is one umroh congregation that grandmother dying pee on the plane, without much question nenetk the pee in the corridor, torn flight attendants and passengers hysterical fear, afraid if the cable shorting.
King Abdul Azis Airport is an international airport, but to my surprise I found a toilet that is far from the standard toilet in an international airport, the toilet is a classroom toilet at the Makassar Power terminal. Cleanliness is not guaranteed. I do not even find a janitor in front of the toilet like at an airport in our country. I'm sure the Saudis will be surprised when they stop by Sepinggan Airport in Balikpapan, clean toilets, kinclong, fragrant and even 3-dimensional drawings.
In places of rest stop area, I also found the experience is almost the same, do not imagine the toilet there is a nice ceramic eyes, boro-boro that there is a toilet that is less clean, fortunately in arid Arabia, clean water is abundant. I did not feel the lack of water during my Saudi stay.
My perception of why Saudis do not "beautify" public toilets may be because of the notion that the toilet is the dwelling of the jinn, so it does not deserve beautified to make people linger long in it. Secondly, it could be because the janitor mostly comes from a country with poor sanitation. Third they do not want to waste money on "dirty" stuff like this.
Could be the culture and mindset of Saudis who have not changed. Standards of service in Arabia are not as good as the neighboring country. It is said that in Dubai who is also the Arab country, the toilet is sleek and fragrant. Perhaps the phrase, if you want to see the quality of cleanliness of a country, first look at the toilet in the airport. Perhaps because of that the quality of Saudi Airlines is far below Fly Emirates or Etihad Airways.
In the hotel we stayed, in the 4 star Medina and the 5 star Mecca, the facilities are of international standard like the classy hotels in the country including the toilet. So the defecation as much as possible in the inn, let alone the distance is quite close from the mosque of Nabawi and Masjidil Haram. In these two respected mosques, the toilets are clean though still less than in the big mosque in Indonesia.
However, several times have been forced to use the toilet in Nabawi mosque, probably because most drink zam-zam water that is available in many places. I rushed to the toilet downstairs, queuing quite a bit, while waiting for the queue, the playful activity in the toilet could be heard clearly, the loud "bombing" process sometimes made the person waiting at the door choose to escape.
Several times I saw people fighting each other in the toilet. With a variety of nations with different cultures and attitudes is very difficult to understand the habit of queuing it. Jemaah umroh from Indonesia including those who often succumb to this problem. I once experienced the incident not wearing while taking Miqot at Birr Ali Mosque, while engrossed in bathing, one of the Umrah pilgrims from Turkey knocked on the door many times, ah apparently he is unusual with the queue. Another time, an ardent Arab man accidentally opened a seemingly unlocked toilet, his inhabitants shocked, he babbled in urdu, the Arab replied in Arabic, exclamation not … it's up to you.
During the 12 days in Saudi I did not find the hanging closet commonly used by men. Understandable because the habit of standing pee is not a recommendation in Islam. All the activities of defecation had to be done in the toilet which was miserable condition. With the number of pilgrims so buanyak, imagine how complicated the queue. Mutual dorongpun difficult to avoid. Somehow the congregational feelings of Europeans or Asian countries that have modern sanitation must face reality. May they be patient.
With the abundant money from oil and pilgrims, the Saudis should be able to improve their toilet facilities. May the reforming winds that are blowing also have a positive impact on the service especially the toilet. After all almost all advanced technology ranging from fast trains to changing sea water so fresh water they can do, their period can not change that one at least remember the hadith Hygiene of some faith.Regards
Note Umroh March 2017