Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Airport Wait

Photo from desert69

Despite the wonderful structure and interior design of the King Khalid International Airport here in Riyadh, it is probably the most boring airport in the world to get stuck in. The worst thing about it is that this airport and its staff will make you fall in line... and wait. And oh boy, what a wait it'll be! (Waiting in a boring airport? Gee, what a fun way to spend your day!)

The arrival and departure lounges are the only crowded places in this airport. The KKIA is one fine but empty architectural wonder. (photo from archnet.org)

So while those arriving are stuck in line waiting for the airport officials to finish their chit-chats and coffee and on to their processing, those picking up those arriving are also waiting outside. Every time we go to the airport to wait for someone (i.e. my father arriving from his vacation in the Philippines), I find various ways to perk myself up. Sometimes I stroll in the vast airport lounge (sadly, there isn't much to see), count those who are waiting for other people (too many), watch the makukulit taxi drivers urge those newbies to come with them, direct those who are clueless (because I was once like them) or... EAT!

Croissant love!

I couldn't take my eyes off the croissant display in the waiting lounge's coffee shop (its name escapes me now). The marbling on each buttery, flaky pastry is so shiny it gleams under the soft glowing lights of the stand. The smell of cinnamon and chocolate fills the air and lulls you into a gentle tug of "buy me, eat me." It's utterly tempting! The freshly-baked goodies surely know how to entice! Darn!

With coffee, yum!

They're overpriced at SR9-12 each (3 regular ones for SR15) but I had to try them just to satisfy my curiosity (and grumbling stomach). Besides, I don't get to wait in the airport all the time (not that I would like to wait there more than twice a year!) so might as well experience the ridiculously-priced food there.

The filled croissants are not in the usual crescent shape. Each warm croissant is flaky on the outside and soft inside. It lacks filling though! Hmpft! For its price I was kindda hoping the apple croissant is filled with apple jam and bits or the chocolate one will be filled with the dark spread until it bursts. Anyway, having croissants and a cup of coffee is a good way to spend the idle, waiting hours in the airport. Trust me, there's nothing else better to do.

For future Riyadh-bound Filipinos, we'll probably publish a "How To Survive the KKIA" soon, hehe.

9 had something to say:

mightydacz said...

i agree with you about the athmosphere of that airport and to add more on that list are the scary faces and so intimidating staff of the airport btw yesterday marked the second year of my arrival and stepping in on that airport prior to work in ksa ,thanks god i survived lol

Nebz said...

Kahit naman din ang King Fahd Airport sa Dammam, it's virtually empty!

Looking forward to reading your How to survive KKIA.

Mr. Thoughtskoto said...

I definitely agree. I doubt kung yung croissant nila, lasang arabo din...I remember one time with Mrs. Thoughtskoto, we bought two slice of cake na Black forest, only to find out na lasang ganun na nga. hehehe

Please do publish the How to Survive...it will be a great help.

Sundrenched said...

@mightydacz: congratulations on your survival! :P cheers to more happy and successful years for you in the desert kingdom. (that is if you want to stay longer, otherwise, good luck on future endeavors! :)

@nebz: i wonder how's the jeddah airport doing? :P baka ganito din.

@mr. thoughtskoto: ay hindi naman po lasang arabo ang croissant nila. thank god it's the "normal" variety. :)

hmn, gotta write and post that survival guide soon! :)

scarves said...

delicious food and nice building! not that bad, even some time wait.

Karen Louise said...

the silence there is deafening. the most silent airport i've ever been.

Sundrenched said...

@scarves: yep, the KKIA is a nice structure... i haven't tried any other food there though except for the croissants. :) thanks for dropping by our blog!

@karen louise: hehe, i've only been to four airports in the world so far so I can't really say if it's the most silent airport worldwide. but it is definitely the most silent and boring among the ones I've been to. drop by in our blog again! :)

Cara said...

This might be the most boring airport, but its much better than the old Airport in Manila. At least the structure is sound. You don't have rain leaking from the roof or the actual roof falling apart... XD

sugarcoated cynic said...

^ ditto cara. ditto.

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