Buenos Dias

Current Time – 5.08am. An update on the trip at this moment.
1. Emirates was good for value. Nothing fantastic but okay. SQ is still the best.
2. Dubai International Airport is expensive and everyone was Filipino. 
I doubt that I will one day travel there for leisure. 
3. Madrid Barajas Airport has a retro feel to it. I’m sure my sister and BIL would love it. By the way Belt is Cinta here. Met a Haji Mad from Trengganu who is on holiday with 11 others, all family members. Haji Mad reminds me of Ayah. Enough said. You get the picture. 
4. Estadio Santiago Bernabeu was huge but somehow we prefer the EPL stadiums better (i.e. cheaper).
5. ZARA is overated in Spore. ZARA is like Giordano in Spore. I don’t quite like the ambience of the ZARA stores here aka a big factory outlet, 6-7 levels, semua kes campak-campak. Yes, the price is much, much cheaper than back at home. The exported collection I must say would be the latest. What they have here is not really the latest.My siblings would go crazy here but not for me. Oh by the way the service in Spain is Aaargh. Sometimes I wonder why we insist on service with a smile at home. Desigual, another Spanish brand fare better. Maybe because a bit up than ZARA here. The shop itself is avant garde but too bad, I can’t carry such loud and hip label. To my siblings’despair – I did not buy any ZARA for you guys, only for Isya.
6. Madrid is a shopping haven for those who craves Spanish brands. 
But London has my vote for better shopping experience, value and brands. 
Next year, definitely London. 🙂
7. The railway experience in Spain is the best for us up to this moment. Bought 2nd class tickets but good enough. Due to the effects of global warming, the weather here is erratic. Our train ride stopped in the middle of the destination due to low visibility. Quite an experience looking out the window seeing thick mist and all you can hear was the downpour. If my mom was with us, she would be saying prayers non stop. Nevertheless, the captain kept assuring us in Spanish.
8. By the way, Spanish people are proud of their language and are generally monolingual. They are proud and are not even apologetic to say that they do not speak English. So my Spanish husband got to practice his Spanish which he took in Uni, like 10 years ago. Moral of the story, take a foreign language.
Is has been mistaken for an Arab guy in Dubai and a Spanish guy in Spain. I think the Spanish guys dig him here, especially the gay ones. Cue, Yan you can sing Katy Perry’s latest single. 😉
8. Now we are in Cordoba. For those who enjoy shopping like my sister, just stick to Madrid & Barcelona. The Southern Spain is for those who enjoy deciphering which piece of architecture belongs to the Muslims’, Jewish’s or Christian’s era. Just a note, please visit this part of the world during spring. I think it would be gorgeous – reminded me of  when we visit Turkey in 2007. Splendid.
Streets of Cordoba – Quaint.
9. Halal food in Spain is not easy. The places as recommended by Zabihah.com seemed to be closed during the time we were there. A tip, find a mosque first, the eateries will be some where around there. Muslims generally are friendlier to fellow Muslims (provided you are on a trip with your mahram). That was how we met our Lebanese friend who added Is on facebook. Nope, he has no clue who Maher Zain was. 
10. Planning for a trip is no easy feat. But even the best laid plans can go haywire. Alhamdulillah, God made it  possible. We were supposed to catch a la liga match on the 4th Dec, so of course we wanted to book an earlier flight. But we did not because Sakeenah was getting married on the 4th. Hence, we booked a flight directly after the wedding. If not, we would be stuck in Dubai when the Madrid Airport had to close due to a then strike on the 4th. Would have wasted a Real Madrid match ticket costing a minimum SGD 170 each.
 2nd Alhamdulillah, initially we wanted to drive around Spain. But we didn’t considering that we are really bad at navigation, even with gps included. Yup, a degree does not equate a good sense of direction. Nonetheless, a good decision. With the bad weather during winter, we would have probably be lost in God knows where. 
3rd Alhamdulillah, we wanted to go Seville, solely for Kanoute’s mosque, not for the history bit. We didn’t because the wifey couldn’t fit it into the itinerary even though Is wanted to. Lucky for us, Seville was in a state of emergencia yesterday due to floods. 
Only with Allah’s grace, any plans will go smoothly without major hiccups. Minor hiccups are normal. Like Is having flu. Rest assured, I’m a walking pharmacy.
Time – 6.20am. Subuh is still another 25 minutes. Is as many would have guessed is snoring away. 5 more hours to go before we depart for Granada, once the last Islamic City in Spain.
Till, the next entry.

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