Echos Of My Neighbourhood

Riding at the front of the Train – Echoes of my neighbourhood.

On Thursdays, I share pictures about ‘Echos of my Neighbourhood.

I would like to invite you to participate. The challenge is quite simple and you can find out more about it through this link.

My week has been a bit downcast, but I still tried to pep it up by doing something that I enjoy (walkabouts) to take my mind off things.

Over the weekend I stole time to take a 2 hours train ride from one end of town to the other and was privileged to ride right at the front coach – the opportunity is always scarce with many people queueing to inherit any vantage space.

I honestly don’t know what it is about trains that make me feel as happy as a little child, but  it’s certainly a refreshing way to view the city. It was also interesting to talk to absolute strangers and gain some inspiration.

So, what have you been up to recently? Lady Lee takes us to fun-filled Oktoberfest in Munich. Join the fun 🙂


out-of-the-silent-breath 2


Creative Writing · Musings

Let’s get a little lost shall we?

vehicleIn a lighter mood:

Did someone say that Houston is hot or hawt during Summer?  They should try Dubai. There is the Sun, then Planet Dubai next to the sun, and Planet Earth with every other city a million miles away.

We arrived Dubai/UAE after 16 hours flight across continents from the US, so thankful for a safe flight. These days when you take off to somewhere, you simply hope that the pilot/co-pilot does not have any form of meltdown.

As we head out in search of our rental. The heat slapped us in the face with a punch thrown in too! Yet, it was sundown!sweating sun
No matter. We loaded up and set off to town, ready to settle down.

It’s Ramadan (no public eating until iftar).
It’s blazing hot.
We are hungry, jet-lagged and cranky.

Traveling with family can be a whole lot of fun when you get past the hectic leg of things and to make things easier, we always take a car rental armed with our GPS and generally try to find our square roots.20150703_235802

Taking the metro or taxi, with children in tow, does not really cut it for me. I don’t enjoy staring through the windows with my nose pressed to the glass, watching the city scape zip past as we zoom by. With a rental at your liberty, you can immerse yourself just a little bit more.

Luckily the fast had just been broken for the day, so we located the closest mall and delightfully found a Five Guys fast food, where we tucked into some real greasy burgers and fries à l’américaine.20150703_214325

You would think that with the blazing heat and Ramadan, that the city would be slow and empty. Not at all! The mall park was filled to the brim. Human traffic from all walks of life flowed in pairs and little groups and for a people watcher like me, (is there a hobby with that title yet)? Its simply a delight to my imagery senses.


A full tummy, peppered with jet lag and heat equals to potent sleeping pill. Off we go to find our new abode for weeks to come.
The pilot (dear husband) sets off confidently, whilst I settled beside him to admire the shiny buildings of architectural delight, but soon enough my eyelids droop from gravity of sleep.

Half an hour later, I crank open my eyes and we were nowhere near our destination. Our poor GPS – which by the way, we had used on a previous visit – was thoroughly confused and was not updated due to the massive construction and upgrades going on in the city. It is a city of consistent newness and growth; getting ready to host Expo 2020. Familiar routes become a maze of metro networks, new hotels/buildings, road expansions and deep excavations.

“What’s up?” I asked in a croaky voice.Dubai

“I am trying to locate our hotel, but the GPS is not picking up the proper directions”, he responds.

“Okay”. “I have a map, lets see if that can help”, I offer. Mind you, I am not sure that I will make the Worlds list of cartographers or map readers – but at least I can try 🙂

Me: Map reader

Pilot: Husband

And we manage to circle an area a couple of times until in exasperation I suggested that we should simply stop by a metro station and get one of the empty cabs to direct us, otherwise we just might find ourselves in Kuwait before we know it.

My suggestion is met with silence. A cue for me to fold my map and snatch a few minutes of shut eye. I knew we would get there anyhow.

What is it with men and asking for directions?

Is it in their genetic make-up not to ask?

We ran around a little more, and eventually we were adopted by a taxi escort, that drove in front of our vehicle until we got to our destination, and in the spirit of Ramadan, I guess, he did not collect even 1 dirham from us, waving a cheerful goodbye as he left.

Wilted like two day old vegetables, we gladly hopped into our beds after all protocol and for the next several weeks or more, we shall be calling this shiny place, Home.20150701_120007

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Sun image: courtesy