Travel notesIssue 01 | November 2008

Sheikh Zayed Road

by Helena Axelson Fisk

Downtown, I head towards Manzil (Home) Hotel. The buildings are low and sand-colored, balconies flirt with each other, and quarters and streets are named for herbs and spices. I leave Musk and Rihan and turn towards Saffron. The radio calls for blood donors for a newborn child but goes static in the underground parking before I hear which blood group is required.

After a quick visit with Sabriya, belly-dancer and friend, I start off again. The construction bewilders me as I exit; roads and landmarks are obscured by all that is new. I misread a sign and find myself on Al Khail Road, in the right direction, with the wrong crowd—two lanes of trucks, bumper to bumper, and the lane of the brave and the free, who can afford an indefinite number of fines.

To get off Al Khail Road, I must squeeze the car between the trucks in both lanes. My body snakes while metal yields, crunching softly as a truck shoves me from behind.

The truck driver’s broken headlight adds to the glass from those who came before us on the Al Khail Road. I lean against my car, looking towards Burj Al Arab and the sea, enjoying the soft October sun.

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About the author

Helena Axelson Fisk, editor-in-chief of the online literary magazine, Frostwriting, catapulted herself from Sweden twenty years ago and hasn’t found her way back yet. She now lives in Dubai, where she composes fiction inspired by the Middle East while listening to the music of cranes and building-waste chutes.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok