On Days Like Today

On days like today, I want to hide from the weather. The hot wind exhales dust across the road. The windows are shut. The blinds barely open. I retreat into a world of half-light.

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On days like today, I am glad that I am not a teacher anymore. A quiet coffee at Bawadi Mall is interrupted by the desperate voice of a frazzled teacher. Swarming around her a dozen 7 year olds. They flutter like a flock of birds – restless. Some of the tiny hands are clutching clear plastic bags with big-eyed goldfish. They look scared in their confined spaces – their futures uncertain. As the flock escapes through the doors, another enters. This one more demure. Teenage girls in headscarves. Orderly for now.

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On days like today, I am grateful that I have time to read the newspaper. It mourns the fact that Emirati children do not know how to play their traditional games anymore. They watch TV, play electronic games, forget to move and go to the mall on educational excursions.

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On days like today, I get lost in thought. I remember my own childhood. Barefoot and carefree.

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On days like today the house is silent.

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Jolandi

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