Sunday, December 26, 2010

indoor oxymoron?--guest blog by Julian

           OMG!! My mom got our whole family (and Remy) a indoor skydiving for christmas!! Yes, I know i am really lucky and i could tell you all about that OR I could tell you a bit about skydiving. Which one will it be? Skydiving? Okay!

           Ok, it all started when we walked into the Abu Dhabi Country Club: Air Venture building. It was awe inspiring a giant fan twirling at the speed of i don't-know-what  once we walked in my sisters started reading the first magazine we saw: a red bull magazine. Ha! my sisters hate red bull. Once we finished paying and what not our skydiving teacher came up to us. Told us to go to the Bathroom, put on knee pads and put on a suit that looked like something an astronaut would wear. Once we were geared up, at least we thought we were geared up we went up two floor and started our boring training. The training was composed of watching a video about indoor skydiving.

          Once that was over, we all (the family, the teacher and Remy) went to a desk where they handed our  other gear (helmet, goggles and ear plugs), guess what? Dad put on his helmet backwards! Ha! what a fail!!
juji "the epic"
         Once we were actually in the air tunnel the air was so strong you would have to try really hard to roffel. Also me myself leaned forward to much and literally flipped and fell to the ground because not enough air was supporting me. Thank you for reading this blog post by Julian The Epic.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The $11,000,000 Tree

Remy and Pauli in front of ze tree

a special ornament

one stop shopping
Well, actually the tree isn't worth's the ornaments (the tree in fact is a fake...quelle horreur).  If you're looking for the tree, it's not hard to find.  It's just south of the 'Gold to Go' machine in the lobby of the Emirates Palace.  Our own tree is practically worth its weight in gold.  It's not easy to get a fresh tree here--they fly them in from Holland (luckily, before Europe was stymied by a snow storm), but they arrive with snow and ice still clinging to them.  Pretty amazing.  And it's helping us to feel the Christmas spirit.  We've got the carols playing, we've visited ski dubai, and the decorations from National Day are still up (many of them red and green) so if you squint--it looks like, maybe, Miami or Phoenix.  Last year they took them down just before Christmas, but this year I'm hopeful.  It's the 24th and it's Friday (the holy day when almost no one works).  I don't think they'll take them down tomorrow....but we'll see!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

National Day

The UAE was 39 on Friday.  It's not much when you stack that up against Japan or France or even the USA, but they are very excited about their 39 years.  At first blush the celebration definitely looks like redneck universe.  The most popular outward expression of their excitement seems to be lots of lights on the streets and a major car pimping movement.  We saw many many vehicles completely covered in decals (the three 'big' sheiks were the most common decal--Zayed, Khalifa and Mohammed), sequins (my personal fave), ribbons and boas.  There was a whole lot of silly spring being sprayed from cars and a propensity to disconnect mufflers.  All the cars hightail it down to the Corniche where they cruise.  Up and down in one long traffic jam.  It's topped off with a huge fireworks display that we can see and hear a couple of miles away from our rooftop deck.

It's funny though, two days later I'm still thinking about it.  Really how different is it from other celebrations.  In the US we decorate our lawns, front porches and, yes, sometimes our cars.  We dress in red, white and blue.  We have parades, barbecues and fireworks.  In France where we spent many years--there are fireworks, but beyond that, few individuals dress up or even celebrate too much.  This celebration here in the UAE kind of reminds me of home.  They're proud of their flag, their colors, their Sheikhs, their country.  And hey, it doesn't hurt that the decorations are often red, green and black (the colors of the flag)--it makes me feel like it's Christmas...