Istanbul: Arrival

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم

سَمِعْتُمْ بِمَدِينَةٍ جَانِبٌ مِنْهَا فِـي الْبَرِّ وَجَانِبٌ مِنْهَا فِي الْبَحْرِ؟ قَالُوا: نَعَمْ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ. قَالَ: لاَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى يَغْزُوَهَا سَبْعُونَ أَلْفًا مِنْ بَنِي إِسْحَاقَ، فَإِذَا جَاءُوهَا نَزَلُوا، فَلَمْ يُقَاتِلُوا بِسِلاَحٍ وَلَمْ يَرْمُوا بِسَهْمٍ، قَالُوا: لاَ إِلهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَاللهُ أَكْبَرُ، فَيَسْقُطُ أَحَدُ جَانِبَيْهَا -قَالَ ثَوْرٌ( أَحَدَ رُوَاةِ الْحَدِيْثِ) لاَ أَعْلَمُهُ إِلاَّ قَالَ:- الَّذِي فِي الْبَحْرِ، ثُمَّ يَقُولُوا الثَّانِيَةَ لاَ إِلهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَاللهُ أَكْبَرُ، فَيَسْقُطُ جَانِبُهَا اْلآخَرُ، ثُمَّ يَقُولُوا: لاَ إِلهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَاللهُ أَكْبَرُ، فَيُفَرَّجُ لَهُمْ، فَيَدْخُلُوهَا، فَيَغْنَمُوا، فَبَيْنَمَا هُمْ يَقْتَسِمُونَ الْغَنَائِمَ، إِذْ جَاءَ هُمُ الصَّرِيخُ، فَقَالَ: إِنَّ الدَّجَّالَ قَدْ خَرَجَ، فَيَتْرُكُونَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ وَيَرْجِعُونَ.

“Have you ever heard of a city that one side is on the land while another side is in the ocean?” They said, “We have heard of it, O Messenger of Allah!” He said, “There will be no Judgment Day until 70,000 from the descendants of the Prophet Isaac attacked it; when they come to it, and they come down. They did not fight with weapons, nor did they throw a bow, they say, ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah wallaahu Akbar (there is no God worth to be worshiped except Allah and Allah is the greatest),’ then one side fell down (into the hands of the Muslims) -Tsaur [one of the narrators of hadith] said, “I did not know it unless he said, ‘the ocean’s part.’ “Then they said for a second time, ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah wallaahu Akbar,’ finally the other side fell into the hands of the Muslims. Then they say for the third time: ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah wallaahu Akbar,’ and they gave them space. They went into it and got the spoils of war, when they were distributing the spoils of war, suddenly came the shouter asking for help, he said, “Surely the Antichrist has come out,” then they abandoned everything and returned.'” (Narrated by Muslim. kitab al-Fitan wa Asyraatus Saa’ah (XVIII/43-44, Syarh an-Nawawi. Narrated from Abu Hurairah.)

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Image: Ryan Mayer’s document.

 

After wading through the air for 12 hours, we parted with the dark night. The white clouds that had been faithful to accompany the twinkling of the little lamps on the wings disappeared into new, more realistic scenes. Thousands of yellow lights appeared beneath the millions of bonfires in the midst of a giant field. The longer the lights revealed what had been hidden. Buildings, micro-sized cars that move along the curves of the road, and ships that either go from where and where to go. All this leads to one conclusion. We have arrived in Istanbul.

The brakes on the wing started to work while our plane lowered its flight. Tingling nausea began to dance in the stomach. The blond stewardess sat quietly to the passengers. Her lips kept smiling but her eyes worked like surveillance cameras. Her blue eyeball seemed to say, “We’re landing so none of you dare leave the bench!”

The wheels of the plane touched the land and the plane began to pop up followed by a very noisy wind, “Bwuuuuussssshhhhh ….” We walk on land at speeds that may be equivalent to a super bike. So fast that the whole plane became silent. All faces facing forward without much motion seemed to be counting how long the plane would actually stop. When it really stopped then from here and there came the sound of “Click” marks the release of the passenger safety strap. The cabin head shouted through the microphone that the passengers had not been allowed to remove the belt but had no regard for them. Apparently everyone wants to get off the plane. More and more “Click” were heard.

We walked down the aisle of the maroon carpet. Group entourage with suitcases or rucksacks all stepped in the same direction. On the left and right stands the male and female cabin crew. The men were wearing dark blue suits and white shirts while the women’s white shirts were plastered in blue dresses that covered the pants. The white faces with green, blue or brown eyeballs smile as they say “Thank you.”

The last stewardess we passed was a slim blond woman. From her face it appears that she is in his forties, but her polite outfit, excellent service, and calm characters seem to say she is a younger figure. Next to her was entrance of the plane that connected us into Istanbul.

The cold wind immediately attacked mercilessly as we left the plane. In an instant my body, head, even my feet wrapped in shoe were surrounded by a fierce temperature of 0 degrees Celsius. A white breeze came out of the mouth accompanying the phrase, “Come on ladies.”

Our first goal was toilets where some people liberate themselves from the urge to urinate; and some others changed clothes. A pair of cleaning service in orange stood beside the entrance of the toilet as if the first tour guide first met his client. The man looked in his forties with a George Clooney-like face. As for the more charming women, it looks like Ayu Azhari (old Indonesian actress) wearing flower-patterned hijab. In my heart mumble, “If in Indonesia maybe they become soap opera artist.”

From a lonely place, the toilets and the surrounding area were transformed into large dressing rooms. Everywhere men wear jackets, gloves, and caps; while the women have to queue up in the toilet. Peci (moslem hat) began to disappear and colorful winter cap were clad in the heads of enthusiastic men shouted, “We’re in Istanbul.”

I stood between immigration counters and a small garden decorated with gazebo that became the ideal area for photography enthusiasts. Some of my pilgrims also immortalized the moment while the last two were still in line for passport control.

“He asked me where the Turkish visa?” Mrs. Erni said in Minang’s (one of tribe in Indonesia) thick accent. This bourgeois-looking young lady apparently forgot that her visa was emblazoned on a white sheet of paper inside her passport.

Now I, Mrs. Erni and her mother who called Nek (granny) Ema proceed to where other congregations gather. Apparently our luggage was transported into the trolley by two men who wore dark gray resembled FBI agents; it turns out they were porter. Their body is slender and sturdy while both faces were handsome and macho. Far from the appearance of a porter in general.

Next to the two porters stood a man in his forties wearing a pink sweater. Eyes glazed and gloomy impression on his white-red face. Her brown hair was adorned with white gray hair that grows not here and there. He is our local guide.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” he said,”We’re going to the hotel for breakfast. Ah .. then after that you could prayed there. ” his Indonesian is very good and easy to understand even though there is a thick Turkish accent in the way of pronunciation. “Come on.”

We followed the guide to the airport yard where the white bus with wi fi awaits. The porters were busy loading suitcases into the trunk while our driver smoked quietly next to the bus entrance. Small and slender, our driver looked dappled with brown hair that backed the mafia-style and whiskers of the same color.

The pilgrims have entered the bus and the luggage doors have been slammed. I climbed the bus ladder right in the direction of Mr. Rudi who warmed the morning chill with a complaint, “My luggage handle is off their slam. How come? “He said in South Sumatra accent.

“Well wow, I’m really on duty.” I thought to myself that one role of a tour leader is facing complains and find the best solution to overcome it, “I am sorry sir.” I said while watching the handle ” In sha’ Allah I’ll call a bell boy, usually they skillfully fix the suitcase.”

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