“Dude look at that guy he looks like a terrorist!”
Khanyi said to me in Zulu so that people could not hear what we were saying. It was actually funny and I burst out laughing. American media is amazing in this brainwashing business. I was genuinely uncomfortable sitting in and amongst all these Arabs because well, they make it seem as though each and every one of them will blow you out of the sky.
“How do you think those women even breathe in that thing?”
She asked me in Zulu. Eish my Zulu is not that decent and sometimes like all Zulus she forgets that the beauty of the rainbow nation is that we are all not from one tribe and expected to know one language no matter how dominant how dominant it is.
“I didn’t quite get that but let’s changed topics before they throw us out!”
I told and she laughed but I know when Khanyi is offended. It was something that happened often when I could not understand her unfortunately. There were no further incidents on the flight but I have to highlight this, at 12 pm shap, on the flight, Muslims took out their mats and started to pray. I am not kidding I am not exaggerating it happened. They spread them out in the passage and knelt. We can say what we want but Christianity is not a committal religion. From first class to economy where I was Muslims were praying. As Christians we can’t even pray in a restaurant because we feel it’s embarrassing but here were this bearded men and face covered women doing their thing. If I was not scared of that face covering thing I would probably join them.
“That is so cool!”
I whispered to Khanyi but being originally from KZN she was not really bothered. She grown up with half the town closed at 1pm for prayer so it’s something she was used to. I liked the fact that Christian people respected it even though the white people were rolling their eyes. Let them! 8 hours later, after watching a movie or two I was in the middle of a light nap I was woken up by I think the pilots voice saying,
“Welcome to Dubai. We have just entered Dubai airspace! Its 1030pm Dubai time but don’t be alarmed its 830pm South African time. For first time visitors you could never have chosen a better destination and for those returning welcome back!”
The intercom said loudly. I had been on the flight for so long I was honestly like that kid in “Are we there yet”. Dubai finally.
“For those who closed the curtains please open all the curtains as we are about to start our descent! Cabin crew please prepare the flight for landing!”
The excitement levels in me had levels. I had looked forward to this day for so long at some point I thought it was never going to happen. I had put in so much and sacrificed even more to be able to come here. That’s what people will never get. It was my hard work that got me here! Sucking an old man’s dick is not for everyone so those who judge can fuck off and go to Warmbaths with AKA. Don’t be fooled with him dissing it it’s because he has been there before. For those who have never been to Warmbaths, I have, it’s full of Indians and Colored! It’s no joke; you will think that the whole of Pakistani came to South Africa to swim. When AkA is dissing Warmbaths its out of experience not that he guessed it. For Pretoria Coloreds Warmbaths is like heaven believe me I have seen it several times. Look at people trying to act brand new because they have money trying to diss local tourism!
“Why does it feel like there are many more lights here than back home?”
Khanyi asked in awe also as she looked out of the window. She was right, when you land anywhere at night it’s the light that guide you. I doubt that Dubai is bigger than Gauteng but the fact that there were lights everywhere made seem so grand.
“I know hey! I don’t think I ever want to go home again!”
She said and I laughed at her,
“Why? It’s not like you work at Eskom what do you need the lights for?”
I teased her. We were here at last. There were a lot of planes at the airport but Emirates has a terminal that is only for Emirates. I need to say that again, Emirates has a terminal that is specifically designed and reserved for it. Imagine if SAA had its own terminal I am sure America would put sanctions against us for anti competitive behaviour. When we got out of the plane it felt good to be on steady ground. We walked for what seemed to be a long time, first stop being immigration. The people serving at the counters were mostly white and black and actually no Arabs. Uhm ok.
“Where have all the ninjas gone?”
Khanyi asked me snapping out of my observation as we stood in the line to get our passport checked. Again she asked in Zulu. She was dying to gossip but eish language.
I said checking around. I commented earlier on how many Arab women were on the plan with their faces covered but now here at immigration where they have to see your face there was not even one.
“I guess they have their own special place.”
I responded to her in English. The other South Africa girls we had seen on the plane were also in the queue but we did not speak to them. We did not come all the way here to make South African friends. We passed through immigration no problem, got out bags and headed for the door. Sam said when we got outside there will be cabs everywhere it being an airport and all so we were not too worried. The first thing that hits you when you leave the airport is the heat. I had never felt something so intense and what’s worse this was at night. It’s not even humid its dry heat and thank heavens I don’t have sinus because here I am certain you will die making that sound.
“I am already sweating!”
Khanyi said without me having to say it first to her. She sensed exactly what I was feeling. Mara South Africa is poor people. In South Africa a person driving the latest C Class or latest Lexus sedan is rich, when we got out these were taxis.
I commented to Khanyi as we looked on in awe.
“Taxi ladies safe and fast where are you going?”
An Indian man said to us. Turns out Indians here were the taxi drivers, still no Arabs working.
I responded. He immediately took our trolley from us and headed us to his Mercedes Benz C200.
“Where are you from? South Africa?”
He asked and it was Khanyi who responded.
“Yes how could you tell?”
“I see a lot of South African girls here. Every day I pick up at least two!”
He said pleasantly. I don’t know if that made me feel better or worse because when you click the hashtag Dubai on Instagram its mostly young girls like me you see who most definitely do not have jobs that pay well enough to end up here.
“I am sure it gives good business!”
I responded to him.
“Yes it does but it’s very odd because I consider myself a reader and I know your economy is not doing well. Do they give discounted flights there?”
He added and I am not sure whether he was trying to make a joke or he was serious.
“There are always specials you know and if you are students they further make specials on those specials!”
I lied to him and Khanyi laughed. We got into the taxi and he asked where we were going.
“The Bay Hotel Apartments at Dubai Harbour!”
I told him.
“Oh I know the place, very beautiful place!”
He told us which only excited us even more. I had stopped myself from looking for the place online because I wanted to be surprised. The fact that it was by the harbour meant that it was going to be beautiful because you don’t put ugly things next to the harbour right.
The meter read when we got to the apartments. That’s roughly about r350 similar to what we would pay for an Uber from airport I suppose.
“Where can we get food this late? Is anything even open?”
I asked him.
“Yes almost everything is open. I know in your country 6 O Clock everything is closed. In the real world its business as usual! I can take you if you want!”
He said jokingly even though I took offense at the obvious. In real countries as he put it, it’s no lie that their economies don’t sleep. Ours because we lack ambition for the things that matter it’s a 9 to 5 situation no wonder why the economy does not make enough money. Go to Japan and see the difference.
“No that will be fine. We will make our own plans thanks!”
Khanyi told him before I could even say anything.
“Its ok, here is my card if ever you need a cab here!”
He said and he drove off.
“Dude we had a cab right here he could have taken us to buy food!”
“Did you see how many U-Turns he made? That guy took the longest route he could make up. No offense I was not going to be duped again!”
She said and I guess she was right. At the time did not that Dubai was designed in such a way that no matter where you go, you will have to make U-Turns. We checked in and the driver had not lied, the hotel was beautiful and the views were beyond. There was free wifi so I sent my dad a Whatsapp saying I arrived safely and everything was fine so far. He was probably sleeping in any case. I think me going online signalled Sam that I was online because two minutes later he called me.
“I see that you have arrived!”
He said sounding a bit annoyed. I think what annoyed him was that I had not called him or rather sent him a message as soon as I got online.
“Yes we have. We have just finished checking and did you know they have free wifi here?”
I asked him trying to sound amazed to deflect from him pursuing why I did not acknowledge our arrival. He laughed.
“Free Wifi is in most countries, I am arriving a day from now.”
He said casually. Honestly did not want him to come but he was the money so I responded cheerfully,
“I can’t wait to see you!”
I lied to him. I was honestly thinking of dumping him after this. I had seen Dubai so what more did I need.
If only life was so simple!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I have been meaning to write you for a while but every time I get cold feet. Hello to the readers and to you Mr. Maphoto. You are doing great work here.
My story: In 2009 I was raped by a man on my way back from work. I was working at Sandton City for a department store and we used to finish work late. From work I would take a taxi back to Alex and get home usually around 830pm. usually the roads have people at that time even though it’s dark. That night it had rained so it was empty. To cut a long story short two men raped me before I got to the house. It was a terrible time and I even quit my job after that as I was too scared to go home. From the rape I fell pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy. At the beginning I loved and hated him at the same time but now he is my son and I love him to death.
2016 February I met a born again man and starting dating him. He grew up in Alex as well but I had never met him before. We hit it off; he was loving, caring and took to my son. He took him to a better school and started helping with clothes etc. I never told him the rape story so he does not know. I did not want to appear a victim. He has a decent job taking care of his grandmother and two younger siblings. Everyone loves him and he genuinely cares. However almost from the get go people started saying how much he resembled my son. At first I thought it was because we were spending a lot of time together which made people think that they resemble but recently I started paying closer attention. The similarities are remarkable. I started asking him questions about himself and he told me that he got born again in 2011 because he had done a lot of bad things in his past. I am crying as I am saying this. I think he is the man who raped me and what’s worse I don’t even think he realizes this! If it’s him really then I have been sleeping with my monster all this time. I don’t even have money to do DNA test because I am not even sure without evidence. I am scared to go to the police and then be proven wrong ruining his name but the gut feeling I have that its him is overwhelming.
Life is cruel. What can I do?