Adventures on Foot

They say that they greatest adventures begin when you step out of your door, something tells me these people who said that knew exactly what they were talking about. The road, if you follow it will lead to a unknown places, never visted before, never experienced before and it doesn’t always  start when you turn on the engine, it starts when you tie your shoelaces, strap your camera, plug in your headphones and get out of the door.

I have the heart of a traveller, not a tourist, something my brother gets the credit for but that of a traveller, it seems that a tourist gets the ” best views ,the best treatments, the best rooms, the best spas” but civilization does not stay in the 5-star hotels, they do not all spend time in the spa’s, you don’t get to meet the people there just professionals trained to wait on you and give you ‘the experience as advertised’ . I think that tourist really do miss a whole lot when they go abroad, because treasures are not found on top surfaces, you have to dig them, you have to climb, you have to walk, you have to leave the comforts of airconditioning and vehicles and really hit the road with your own two feet only then have you got a chance of finding them.

Thursday, the day i walked through Deira. It was a magical adventure, having grown up there and lived there till the age of 10, i walked through pictures, memories and conversations of my childhood. To see that same water fountain, to see that same old creek side park which used to be the highlight of my childhood, seeing that the malls of Dubai were still a concept. The best part of Deira is that i feel it is truly the heart of Dubai, in the sense that you really do feel the heartbeat there. The shops are still there, the dhows are still there, Baniyas square that pulls nationalities from all over the world. As i walked through there, there was a sense of pride, because while the world had changed, Deira had refused to participate so much that it looks the same, feels the same and the fragrance of the sea is still the same, it has the same personality that it had over 10 years ago.

Just for a break from the heat i entered some shops only to be greeted with so much love and interest, as shopkeepers related how they’ve watched the world change, Dubai change, they’ve benefitted of that change ofcourse and they have endured through some harsh conditions but they were happy to be there, still serving the customer who preferred to shop in their small shops rather than in the big shopping malls, it was there that I was shown a snake skin ” this has come all the way from Africa” , the shop keeper said proudly. ‘Don’t be afraid to touch it, he added to that.

It was at the creek that i met the captain of a Dhow, who willingly allowed me to photograph his vessal, and we had a conversation of broken english

‘ This ( pointing to the  dhow) come from india’

where is it going to ?

‘ Somalia’

i looked at him, where are you from i asked?

 

‘ I from Somalia, you from india no? ‘ He asked to which i nodded my head,

‘take nice photo of my dhow, take many photo of my dhow no problem ‘ which i did, because to me Dubai is still in the heart of the captain that docks his ship at deira creek, the one that stands before the grill making shawarama, the one who is standing feeding the pigeons and the scupture of the camel standing against the backdrop of the dhows and the peaceful creek.

 

People are all the same, they want to talk , they want to be heard, they want to know that somewhere you are listening, that you can feel their happiness, you can feel their pride, that you can relate with them no matter what you are wearing, if you are ready to even smile, they are ready to open their hearts and their worlds to you.The world is really what you percieve it to be. Adventure is what you percieve adventure to be. It is really all upto you!

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