Monday, November 4, 2013

burj means tower

I have just spoken to my brother over at Skype.  Said he's going to Burj Khalifa.  In Dubai.  And I was reminded how I used to gape at that structure, soon to rise, raw, proud even though unfinished.  I once went right at the site with all the men working amid the sun and humidity of the Dubai desert.  And I thought, wow, I was gonna be part of history. The world's tallest tower in the making.  

The completion of the tower happened but me being part of it, did not.  When it was opened to the world on January 4, 2010, I was among the many who had to see it only on TV.  That was it. On TV. 

You know, I haven't been to so many parts of the world.  I was lucky enough to have been gone to at least two foreign countries. So when I was there I always made sure that I would have beautiful and unforgettable stories and memories with me when I go back home.

I had my fill of fun in Dubai.  I have met beautiful people, beautiful inside and out. I have taken peeks of the marian faces but their hair and body are concealed in black niqábs and abayas. I have seen and worked with people who I thought were geniuses.  Totally new, refreshing and enlightening experiences.  There were many times that I was humbled by the nature of the jobs that others were willing to take, toiling beyond the heat and sandstorms.  And even with all those sights and encounter, I knew I hardly experienced a bit portion of the world and there's no bit reason too to be loud about it. It just made me long for more.

I  have worked in a realty company.  There were a mixture of different nationalities, men and women with beautiful names.  Some them were my first time to hear such as Shakil, Ayisha, Prakash, Jomon, and so on that as I speak their names now, I'm reminded of how awesome these people were, each having their unique cultural peculiarities just like how I was to them.  They themselves were a lot of learning to me.

Like this one cab driver I have met on my way to a job interview. Traffic was bad. The driver took another route, a free lane, taking extra miles. I thought I was just fine until I glanced at the meter.  I suddenly felt sweat on my temples. The meter was going as fast as the cab was running. I don't have enough for the bill.  

I had to tell the driver "My friend, are we still far from the place?  I can only take up to 25 (in dirhams).You can drop me off to the nearest bus stop.." He had beard and mustache all over his face. I started worrying about the searing heat outside, my getup being ruined, being late and most importantly, being lost (I had not the faintest idea where he was taking me).  I felt my tears inside in upheaval. The man just looked at me, and then he turned the meter off and we kept going. I fought the panic starting to win over me. Cool it! I yelled inside.

Five minutes later I was in front of an office. I looked at him, he gave me a reassuring look and smiled. 

When I alighted the cab my heart was heavy with thanks.

I got the job the same day and felt so grateful.

The same job brought me to Burj Khalifa, earlier called Burj Dubai, unfinished, unyielding but mightily beautiful.

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