Sultan Uncle placed several glossy brochures in front of Arif and Meena. “I recommend this one.” He tapped the brochure for the Tree Tops Lodge & Resort. “Top class luxury. It will be the ultimate safari. Of course you can also try the Serena. Can’t go wrong there either. After all the Imam owns that one.”

Arif rubbed his goatee as he reviewed the brochures. The hotels weren’t exactly what he had in mind. “Actually, Cha-cha, I think Shakeel would enjoy a camping safari more.” He turned to his son, who was slumped on a chair behind them, playing with his Game Boy. “What do you say, buddy? ” Arif pointed to a poster behind Sultan Uncle’s desk. The poster showed a group of white campers, hair rustled, unshaven, sitting around a fire and holding out bottles of beer to the camera. A Masai man stood in the background, wearing a warrior’s shield and holding a spear. The sign above the campers read “Discover Kenya in Livingston’s Footsteps.”

“Yeah, Dad,” Shakeel said as he pushed up his glasses. “That would be cool.”

Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 4. Purchase the book to read the full piece.

Toronto locations referenced in this piece

“Soon after they were married, they opened a dental practice in Fairview Mall at Sheppard Avenue and Don Mills . . . ” —Fairview Mall

“The practice grew quickly so that before the end of their second anniversary, they opened additional office, this one in Parkway Mall, only ten minutes away at Ellesmere Road and Victoria Park . . . ” —Parkway Mall

“Soon after Shakeel’s birth, they had been appointed Regular Mukhi-Sahib and Mukhiana-Ma at the Unionville Jamatkhana . . . ” —Unionville

“She had signed up for Weight Watchers a few months ago after Munir, the husband of a friend, had joked during a group excursion to the water park at Ontario Place that she still hadn’t lost her baby fat . . . ” —Ontario Place

“When Arif and his brother were growing up, their parents owned a medium-sized grocery store located not far from the Dundas West subway station . . . ” —Dundas West