Tag Archive | Filipinos

If Only They Knew…

It’s a given that the most beautiful humans that I see once I wake up each morning are my family.

My dear Himself – if he is not out of town and our lovely blessings – The children. They are never far from me. Hmm, come to think of it, it seems a selfie holiday is loooong overdue; though I doubt if that vacation will be as much fun without them.

Without doubts, I love them very much and I refer to them as ”ndi nkem, nji eme onu” in my native language which means, ”my very own that I am proud of. My jewels of inestimable value.

However, they are not the ones that I want to talk briefly about right away.

The ones that I want to discuss lightly are those strangers that cross my path of life on this strip.

Most mornings, after my folks, the next batch of people I always run into are the friendly porters who I think are from Pakistan and Philippines and because these ones have been friendly, I have not yet cast them as villains in any of my short stories, just Mr. PT who I turned into a nice portly porter in a short series that I am writing.

They are followed by other folks from wherever, whom I meet sometimes in the lift, on the walkway, if I am taking a brisk morning stroll or at the children’s school and so on.

They consist of proud Emiratis and Saudi Arabians, the fair Russians, the Ugandans, the Ethiopians, lots of Indians, more Filipinos and Pakistanis and others that I am yet to discover where they are from.

Sometimes they reward you with a mere upturn of their lips in a forced smile (usually from the more western ones) and a lot of times with a glare of a look.

There are two particular fellows I love to cast as villains in my mind.

I meet them mostly at the neighbourhood gym where they hog the machines like cyborgs and get so annoying with their showing off exercising skill – my green jealous eye is wiggling here.

Hear me out, one of them sweats over the machines and does not bother to wipe it down after use. Urrgh!

The other one runs on the thread mill at an unbelievable speed and his heavy footing makes so much noise, that I can virtually see the tongue of the poor machine hanging out as it pants in exhaustion while holding on to dear life.

Thankfully, I tune them out with my headphones and just enjoy turning them into imps and ogres in my mind.

I am still searching for the character to cast as a shiny hero that will slay their monstrous behaviour and turn them into pumpkins.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

The Daily Post The Luckiest People

Who was the first person you encountered today? Write about him or her.

Here, There and Where else?..

This glitzy city of Dubai is growing on me in its own way and I think that it could probably burrow its way much more into my heart if the inhabitants looked less like they sucked on sour grapes half of the time.20150508_093925_3_bestshot

Whats with all the serious look, that to wangle a greeting or a smile is almost like a visit to the dentist, where you reluctantly have to open your mouth?

Hard forbidding looks, frowns and cold stares are offered as if you would steal their smile or as if the smiles are worth pots of gold.

With a little more observation, I have found that the warmer ones around here are the Filipinos, who are quick to offer a greeting with a smile as they try to cajole you to patronize them.

They are closely followed by the Russian and Ukrainian ladies, then the Indian and Chinese who all want to make quick sales and who know that these foreigners visiting or living here might have a little extra cash at hand.

The Pakistanis are a bit rough around the edges, though their sleek tongued sales men are usually dressed more dapper in tight tailored to fit suits and Mohawk shaped crops gelled into place with enough fritz that the spikes will not even waver under a windstorm.

The Pakistani drivers hurtle down the highway at aggressive speed, hardly allowing you space to inch in on the road. They duly remind me of my Lagos brothers whose method of  ‘shan’t gree’/not allowing you to enter the road, is similar to theirs.

The blacks around are as black as they come. The Ethiopians who are half wishing they are Arabs, therefore not quite sure whether they should fraternize with other blacks or not and then the hustling Nigerians who are looking for goods to ship back to an ever demanding and increasing consumer Nation of over 173 million.

It is an incredible potpourri of Nationalities and I am discovering them as I go on.

The rest of the crew are their usual lukewarm selves, neither cold nor hot, just pursed lips like people who have bad case of gas.

If I could spend my time equally divided between two places right now, I would choose my home’s in Houston, Texas and Lagos, Nigeria.

I miss both places, with severe doses of nostalgia sometimes, more so at this time of the year with the holidays floating in the air. I miss my friends in Houston, I miss the Texas Multicultural Women (a Non-Governmental Organization that I belong to), I miss my library runs, my parish – Christ The Redeemer, I miss school volunteer work, my quiet neighbourhood, the parks that were close to home and so much more.

There is no Christmas like that spent back in my native land in Nigeria. I miss the crazy hustle and bustle.

I miss the warmth of family, friends and even strangers alike. I miss the smiling faces and the loads of social events.

These pangs are not easy for me to capture in words.

The Daily Post prompt A Tale of Two Cities

If you could split your time evenly between two places, and two places only, which would these be?