I’d asked my sis to come with me to collect my new Emirates ID today because she knows the layout of Dubai better; she’s been here longer.
At the last minute I opted to go alone. My head was a mess and I’d had a bad night’s sleep and woken with a full-blown panic attack. Mornings like that make me tetchy and my sis didn’t need to be subjected to my moods and my acting out.
My ID was waiting for me at Al Mussala Post Office in Al Souq Al Kabeer, but it seemed my parking fairy had taken the day off and there was no parking to be had close by.
This meant a not inconsiderable walk from where I eventually found parking. Google Maps always knows a short cut, though, so I set off on an adventure down a myriad of alleys and tiny streets, hoping to find myself. Or my Emirates ID, at the very least.
As I turned down this alley, an earthy, slightly sweet aroma of fresh curry being cooked wrapped itself around me, and suddenly I was a little boy back in my parents’ kitchen in Lynnwood Glen.
Friday nights were curry and rice nights and it was one of the very few dishes I was not fussy about.
Curry and rice nights meant no one was fighting with me, trying to get me to eat food I had absolutely no intention of eating.
Curry and rice nights meant we all sat around the dinner table, tucking in to beautiful homemade food, laughing, talking, being a family.
My parents got divorced shortly after that. My sister went to live with my dad, and soon after so did my older brother.
After that, curry and rice nights were broken, meager, missing.
My reverie ended as I turned back onto the main road, the sentimental moment lingering, fading, dissolving as a light breeze carried the final wisps of curry back down the alley and into the past.
I collected my renewed Emirates ID, passport and visa allowing me to live and work in Dubai for another two years, and went home.
©️ Dave Luis 2019. All Rights Reserved.