Archive for the ‘celebration’ Category


New Year’s Eve 2013

January 5, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

New Year’s Eve began with a drive to Dubai and lunch at the Special Ostadi restaurant. Then we went down to the Bur Dubai side of Dubai Creek. We walked through the old souk (market). The merchants were calling out to DaddyBird calling him “boss” and to BabyBird calling her “Shakira” to entice them to stop and see the wares. From there, we took an abra (water taxi) across the creek to the Spice Souk area.

small boat used as a water taxi

The ride across the creek is always pleasant and it is much cooler on the water.

water taxi boat full of passengers

I haven’t even thought of looking up while on the boat before and was surprised to see the life jackets. If the boat runs into trouble, I doubt I would have time to get one of those, but the thought is nice, I suppose.

life preserver jackets attached to the underside of the boat roof

We stopped for fresh juice and BabyBird discovered that fresh apple juice is not like bottled apple juice. I had watermelon juice and was unpleasantly surprised to find that the seeds had been included. We walked through the Spice Souk and Gold Souk. To return to the car parked in Bur Dubai, we took the metro train.

grassy area near the historical Shindaga area

The park area near the Shindaga historical area is quite nice and inviting to those who want to relax for a while. Next, we were off to Bu Qtair Restaurant for our traditional fish and shrimp dinner with friends followed by fireworks seen from Jumeirah beach.

fireworks around the Burj Al Arab hotel

In past years, all the fireworks displays started at the stroke of midnight – Dubai Marina, Burj Al Arab, Atlantis Hotel and the Burj Khalifa (all of which we can see from our beach location). This year the displays were staggered. Dubai Marina went first, slightly before the stroke of midnight. Then the Burj Khalifa was next. Burj Al Arab took it’s turn. (This is usually the best display from four barges lasting 15 minutes.)

fireworks on the Palm Jumeirah island

This year, the world record breaking display capped the evening shooting off from the Palm Jumeirah island and the World islands. It took 2 hours to get out of Dubai and another hour to drive to Fujairah, but it was worth it.


An Anniversary Not Forgotten

May 4, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

Earlier this week DaddyBird said “What are we doing Thursday?” I stupidly said “Is there a reason we should do something Thursday?” Oh, yeah. That pesky wedding anniversary has come around again. Needless to say I am not the romantic in this relationship. This was an improvement over last year when we both missed our 10th anniversary remembering it a week after the fact.

So, what did we do on our anniversary? Well, we started by driving around town to find the Afghani restaurant that I had previously seen, but couldn’t remember exactly where it was. This led to stopping to photograph stray cats and dogs around dumpsters. There were eight around one dumpster, including kittens. Unfortunately, we can’t take them all home and pamper them. (If I were independently wealthy, I would have a cat sanctuary.)

a stray cat next to a dumpster

We did eventually find the restaurant.

restaurant sign

We had a really delicious dinner of mutton bukhari (the rice dish – there are two large pieces of lamb/goat meat under that rice), grilled meat (I didn’t get the name of that dish), hummos, chana dahl (lentils in a tomato sauce) and lovely bread. The red substance in the small dishes is a cold soup or thin sauce made of tomatoes and spices. It was a lot like salsa. Very tasty. It was clear that they had used fresh, ripe tomatoes. The hummos was also very fresh tasting. On the whole, yummy! The entire meal cost us 41 AED ($11.00 USD)

plates of rice, meat, salad, hummos, and bread

Then it was onto the main attraction – The Avengers movie. I find it hard to describe just how good this movie is. All superlatives seem insufficient. As we walked out, DaddyBird asked if we could see it again – immediately. I insisted on waiting until the next day. It is action packed and witty. Perfect.

The evening was not over, yet, however. We finished with a trip to Baskin Robbins because DaddyBird was in the mood for a milkshake and it is hard to find a good milkshake here. I went for the banana split.

There you have it. An anniversary well celebrated.


Merry Christmas from Athens Greece

December 25, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

Christmas decorations have been somewhat reserved. This is due to the economic crisis. However, I have a few pictures to share.

a Christmas tableau in a store window

store window display including an animated ski slope

cake decorated with Santa's sleigh and reindeer

store window display with white penguins

store window display of tree ornaments

Real pine tree decorated with lights, balls and a big star

large real tree covered in white lights

large cone shaped fake tree

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!


December Lights

December 16, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

I have to admit that I do miss the cold weather of winter and the American holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Years Day. The weather here gets down into the 70’s (Fahrenheit) which is pleasant, but not very wintery. We aren’t bombarded with Christmas shopping commercials and ads. We don’t get to see “It’ a Wonderful Life” or “Frosty the Snowman” or “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” or “Miracle on 34th Street” on the TV. The last three years I haven’t had any time off for Christmas, even working the day when it fell on a weekday. So, it doesn’t seem much like Christmas.

Happily, one thing that hasn’t been missing is lights. The U.A.E.’s anniversary falls on December 2nd. This means lots of red, green and white lights. This year was a special anniversary – 40 years – so there was even more celebration.

dancers in vibrant fucia

There were concerts, dance performances, jet ski parades, air shows…

firework blast

Fireworks on multiple occassions…

truck decorated with pictures and flag colors

Decorating one’s vehicle with pictures of the leaders and colors of the flag is a widespread tradition.

building draped in red, white and green lights

And lights, everywhere.

central market covered in white lights

This is the Fujairah central souk (market – meat, fruit, vegetables, clothes).

light shaped as four zero

The number 40 is everywhere.

building draped in red, green and white lights

Lights are done in a big way.

decorative light attached to a lamp post

I particularly like the lights shaped like boys carrying the flag.

light post decor shaped like a boy carrying a flag

My favorite building display is the Fujairah Municipality Building.

building draped in multi-colored lights

It has been a pleasant celebration season and a delight for the eyes. Happy 40th Anniversary to the United Arab Emirates.


Fujairah Celebrations Continue

December 12, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

three camels and people observing

The Al Saif sword competition and accompanying celebrations continue through December 17th. So, last Friday we headed down to the Fort to see what was happening. We were too late to see the bull butting contest or the camel race, but some of the camels were still out basking in the attention of their admirers.

man and small boy riding a camel

This little fellow was lucky enough to get a ride.

meat on skewers

We had a tasty snack of lamb and chicken skewers.

pottery, platters, coffee pots and other traditional items

A wide range of traditional items were on display – pottery, tools, platters, coffee pots, etc.

two camels laying down

More camels – these are taking a rest. In the background, a horse and a miniature pony who have been giving rides to children.

men resting in a tent

Two majlis tents were available for those wishing to sit, rest and enjoy each other’s company. (Majlis has a variety of meanings, but generally refers to any area where people sit comfortably and discuss.)

The activities at the Fort have been very enjoyable, much like a county fair. These are genuine foods, activities, sports, and arts of the local area.


Happy 40th U.A.E. National Day

December 4, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

On December 2nd the United Arab Emirates turned 40.

drummers and a piper

We went to the Fujairah Fort to join in the celebrations. There was music, dancing, food, and fun.

Fujairah Fort and the competition arena

The third week of the Al Saif sword throwing competition was held in this arena.

young man balancing a sword on his palm

The swords used have thin flexible blades to reduce the chances of injury. Competitors balance the swords, feign mock fights, and toss the swords up into the air as high as possible.

two young men feigning a fight

The sword must be tossed from inside the circle on the arena floor and, hopefully, caught safely while remaining inside the circle.

two competitors before the panel of judges

I don’t know all the details of the scoring system, but points can be lost for loss of headwear, failure to catch the sword, or landing outside the circle. Two young men compete at a time and when done stand before the judges for evaluation.

boys playing in the arena

After the competition finished, the little boys not, yet, old enough to compete took the opportunity to try their hands at it.


Ten Years Sneaks By

May 6, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

We have been married for 10 years, as of May 3rd. However, the day went by quietly without either of us realizing it was THE DAY. Oops!

We were out to dinner that night. We just didn’t realize we should be celebrating. We had dinner at an old favorite restaurant, Special Ostadi, with ten other people. For me, there were as many new acquaintances as old friends.

several people at table full of foood

DaddyBird says we don’t have any pictures of the food at Ostadi in the previous blog posts. Of course, he told me this when it was too late because the food had been consumed. So, you will have to be content with the tea.

two cups of tea and fresh mint