October 5th (Sunday)

One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. — Andre Gide —

October 5th (Sunday)

It rained.

The dreary weather kept me indoors but I had plenty to do. News from Saudi Arabia were mostly unconfirmed reports. There were a few grainy YouTube videos but the authorities are claiming those to be fake. The situation seems to be escalating and plenty are trapped at the airports awaiting departure back to their countries. Our government is still asking those with relatives there to stay calm, plans are in place to bring them home swiftly.

Started the day by measuring and installing wood panels on my outdoor balconies, covering them up so that if the time comes when my family needed protection, we could always hide behind them. Standing on my flat roof, I gave the perimeter a good look with my newly bought binoculars. The walls were already high enough with shards on them, that should be the first line of defence. Am already thinking about parking my car parallel to the gate, in case some nutcase decided to ram through. I’m really thankful that gun control is pretty stringent here, so at least from that point of view, I’m safer against any intruders.

My parents, on the other hand, were pretty resourceful from their shopping spree yesterday. They bought crates of canned food, dried foodstuffs, boxes of cereal, biscuits and some of the basic necessities such as, toilet rolls, hand sanitizer and soaps. They even came up with the novel idea of charging all these purchases to their credit cards! Come to think of it, if the system should crumble, no one will be chasing our asses for the money. Although it would be a monetary disaster if it didn’t. I gave them another shopping list from what I have learnt from the Doomsday Preppers series.

Erin called. They have decided to come back home, though she did warn me that if I’m wrong, there will be much to answer for. Some things don’t change. But I don’t blame her, this is a huge undertaking for her. Uprooting her work and family. Told her to bring along all the important documents and any necessities that they could carry. She said that they will drive back tomorrow. Need to prepare a room for them, probably the master bedroom. Maybe that should placate her feelings.

The weather cleared up and I took a ride around the neighbourhood on my bike. Needed the fresh air to clear up my mind. The neighbourhood I live in is built at the edge of a rock-faced cliff – a promontory. My house lies near its ‘neck’, which is a main road connecting the quiet neighbourhood to the mainland. My suburb and the adjoining town is designated as a historical site, hence the noticeable lack of high density housing and tall buildings. I took a mental note of my surroundings, which led me to believe that we could make a bunker out of the area if it comes to that. Unless we have something to fear from pirates, the bay will be our natural defence, as long as the entry point is properly guarded. On top of that, we are on higher ground, anyone driving up the main road would be at a disadvantage.

Riding towards the town, I passed by the church and police station on my left. Behind them are rows and rows of town houses. On my right, hugging the bay lies the wharf and ferry terminals. It was said that the earliest settlement (back in the 1800s) was located here, hence the historical status of the town. For the most part of the century, the town was geographically isolated from the rest of the peninsula, it wasn’t until the huge mangrove swamp that bordered the northern part of town was filled in, that ‘the island’ (as it was known back then) was connected. The town itself is made up of four parallel streets extending from the wharf towards the north. The rest are made up of smaller suburbs and neighbourhoods.

Unlike places that were bordered by water, there isn’t a beach to be found here. The whole area was founded on cliffs, although the town itself was on a lower part of it, but still, a cliff nonetheless. Certainly on days of low tides, a short spit of a beach can be found in between my neighbourhood and the wharf. Probably that was the reason why they built the first settlement here, boats and ships alike could come close to shore without a worry. Nowadays, it is just the ferries to go across to the big city in the south, a 25-minute journey, compared to an hour by car.

The place looked so peaceful underneath the setting sun. Is this the calm before the storm? My life has been turned upside down for the last few days to say the least and it could worsen. I hope this is just a false alarm. In a late night newsflash, the Prime Minister informed that the first few batches of our pilgrims will be arriving by flight tomorrow.

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