I’m singing in the Dubai rain… what a glorious feeling

By Enid Parker

As winter in the UAE picks up steam (what irony!), I think of paper boats and simpler times.

Last week, as I contemplated a heavily-flooded road from my balcony and wondered how I would make it to the metro station in order to get to work, memories of a similar scene from decades ago popped up — and made me smile.

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Spying into a haven of artists

By Purva Grover

The whiff of fresh oil paint draws me into the room. I spot a wooden jar holding a bunch of paintbrushes, as I lift a bottle of oil and declare to my husband that it’s baby oil. “To clean the brushes,” I say, flaunting my knowledge of the arts. A cat is meowing on a couch, resting behind a stack of canvases. The steam from the cup of coffee also suggests that the artist will be returning soon. Yet, I’m inside here taking my time to absorb in the aromas of artistic freedom. For two days, I’ve decided to forget the courtesies and invade the privacy of strangers; and my husband has reluctantly (initially) joined me in exploring Grožnjan, the unworldly sleepy town in Croatia’s Istria county. Just that this sleepy village is a real place, and not a utopian idea.

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Hello Muddah, hello Faddah, keeping you is getting haddah

By Bikram Vohra​

About a month ago a man brought his aging father to a charitable facility for senior citizens in New Delhi. He wished to admit his father and was ready to pay for it. It seems, he and his wife and kids were off to  the USA and did not want to take the old man with them. The people’s home refused on the grounds that it was open only for those who were indigent and utterly without any support system. ‘If you can afford to migrate to the USA take him with you’.

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Uber a motorbike when you’re in Manila

By Keith Pereña

“Would you like a facemask sir?” The man asked me prior to us setting off to meet my partner who lives an hour away from my place. I turned down his offer and instead put on the helmet he offered, holding it as if it were the precious Crown Jewels – mindful of it not falling on the floor and having the rider look at me in disgust. Thankfully, it slid right over my head and contrary to the memes that the ‘bike taxi’ company put up on Twitter regarding sweaty helmets, I was lucky it wasn’t. This was my first time using Angkas – the Philippines’ take on Uber, the only difference –  instead of a car rolling up to pick you up, it’s a motorcycle.

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A warm, yet uncanny vacay stay

By Purva Grover

A cat is meowing in the corner of a sleepy lane. I can see the confusion on the cab  driver’s face as he wonders if there is enough space for the vehicle to take a left turn. It’s 11 in the night, the husband and I are exhausted, courtesy the unexpected fog, flight delay, airport change, and beyond. We’ve finally made it to Selçuk , a small town in western Turkey, and have to check into a pension (guesthouse) here. It’s going to be a humble lodging arrangement, we’re aware of that. After all, Selçuk is not your popular touristy spot. We (the cabbie and us) mutually agree that it’s better we walk and pull the luggage on the cobbled lane and wake up the entire neighbourhood than test the driver’s reversing skills. The place is so quiet that it feels like a crime to lug around a suitcase with wheels.

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