Postcard from... Dubai
The young woman serving coffee says she is from the Philippines. More specifically from the island of Leyte.
“It’s a wonderful place,” she explains, “but there are so many storms and typhoons.”
Just last month a huge storm destroyed her family home. Her family was unhurt, she eventually learned, but for an entire week she had no way to make contact with them and did not know if they were alive or dead.
The mind flashes back. A month earlier, in the aftermath of the massive Typhoon Haiyan, standing outside a partly destroyed church on Samar – the island next to Leyte – a woman called Rosemary Bernando Aristoso had revealed to a reporter that two of her daughters, both working in the Gulf, had been trying to get through for days.
The lines had been down and it had been almost a week before they could get a message to them that everyone had survived.
Eventually her brother had gone to the largely undamaged town of Cebu and called them from there.
There are more than two million people from the Philippines working overseas. Huge numbers are in the Gulf.
The young woman serving the coffee says she has been in Dubai a year. After another 12 months, as part of her contract, she will be given a ticket to fly home and visit her relatives.
“I like it here,” she says, watching the countless travellers pouring through the airport and hopping on to a plane as easily as a bird takes flight.
“But I do miss my family.”
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital in London where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Nepal earthquake: Rescuers forced to dig with their bare hands in search for survivors as images show damage to historic buildings
Ed Miliband and Boris Johnson in angry clash live on BBC's Andrew Marr Show
Bali Nine executions: British grandmother on death row in Indonesia Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...