I Spy


When I drive, sometimes I wish that all I would have to do is blink to automatically take a picture of all of the things I see.

In Buteena, between the multitude of apartment buildings with their narrow walkways,  boys are playing soccer in the courtyard of a masjid because there isn’t a park or empty lot close by  to do so.

I don’t feel like going home yet so I drive around the old neighborhoods.  I am in search of water coolers so I can take a photo of it.

A woman in her flowing black abaya pushes a stroller filled with things from the garbage bins.  I see her often.

The dome of a masjid looks like a knitted winter hat with vertical ribbing.  I think to myself that I can crochet a hat that looks like that.

On the roof of every house are large white water tanks.

I find myself in Um Khanoor, it is another hour before Magrib prayers and as I drive down one neighborhood street, a group of Sri Lankan and Ethiopian housemaids are chatting with each other while sweeping the driveways in front of their homes.

Along comes a white Land Cruiser stirring up the dust on this same street passing the housemaids sweeping.

The white iron gate in front of a house is old but has an interesting picture of fish and coffeepots.

An Emirati woman walks alone with her golden burqa partially hiding her face.  A black “ras” abaya drapes from her head to the ground.  As I am slowly driving by, I hear and see another local woman in her colorful cotton house shayla  greet her.

A man straddles his bike waiting by the front gate of a house with a blue plastic bag of groceries.

A man wearing light blue punjabi outfit  pushes his wheelbarrow piled high with cardboard boxes.  Walking along the dusty road he goes from one garbage bin to the next.

At the petrol station I wait for my car to be filled up.  There is a young man holding a tiny puppy in his arms.  I smile to myself because it is an odd picture of contradictions.  The young man has a sharp face and is mean looking but he is gently holding and petting this cuddly puppy.

Groups of tired workers wearily and slowly walk home carrying their empty tiffin containers that were filled with their day’s lunch.  

A dark orange Camaro with a bold black stripe down the whole middle races past.

I am in Ghafeya now, my old neighborhood, and I notice the trees and bushes that have been planted in front of the houses.  But the giant shade tree in front of our old house has been cut down.  Why?

After all of this driving, I still haven’t found the picture of a water cooler I wanted to share.  I have to go and look some more another day.

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2 Responses to I Spy

  1. Sarira says:

    What a vivid vivid post. I can almost say “I spy”, myself!

    I liked the contradiction of the ‘mean looking boy’ cuddling the puppy.

    Thank you for taking me back to Sharjah- if only by post 🙂

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