24 October 2008 in Flight Paths
for Flight Paths
In Dubai Yacub worked long hours. The bus from the camp to the site took nearly two hours most mornings, and the day on the site was ten hours long, and then the return journey took another two hours. At the camp there wasn’t time for much more than washing, cooking, eating - the queues for all the facilities were always long. When he was in Pakistan and dreaming about the job and the money he would make, he hadn’t anticipated any of this - although much of it was as his uncle had described. He’d listened to his uncle but, he realised now, he hadn’t believed him. It was good to be working, and he liked watching the building rise from the dirt of the desert, knowing he was contributing to that. But he hadn’t paid off the money he’d had to borrow to get the job in the first place. He wasn’t sure how long that would take.
At night Yacub lay in his narrow cot and dreamed that the building he was working on was his own. He was building a silver tower for his family to live in, his parents and brothers and sister, his uncles and aunties and his grandparents, the wife he didn’t have, the children he hadn’t had. They would all live in grand flats on the top floors of the building, while he ran his business from grand offices below.
At night he had these dreams, and in the morning it was time to get on the bus to the site.
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