Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Years Eve

It's been a routine day for us --- breakfast for 30 with waffles, 2 egg casseroles with beef and chicken sausages, a bowl of cut fruit, oatmeal, blueberry muffins...  After cleanup I wrote my last grocery list (at least I hope it's my last), and then made a 2 1/2 hour trip to the store.  It's the 4th time I've spent over 1000 dirham for groceries.  I've bought 20 kilo of sugar and 30 kilo of flour, 15 kilo of minced meat (hamburger), 14 kilo of chicken, dozens of cartons of yogurt, and liters and liters of milk and oj.  And that's just the big stuff.

I made homemade croutons for the first time this afternoon --- they don't have them at the CarreFour..  When I asked for dry bread they sent me to the rye bread.  They turned out pretty good and worked well on a Caesar salad with crusty bread and lasagna.  We had sundaes and decorated Christmas cookies for dessert.


At the moment it's 11:16 pm and we are sitting on a beautiful corniche along the new canal where we took the boat ride a few weeks ago.  The New Years fireworks at the Burj Khalifa start at midnight.  The crowds AT the Burj are unreal  -  they are expecting 750,000 to a million...  Last year it was a parking lot for miles around the downtown so we did not want to get caught in that mess.


This is a cultural experience.  We are here with hundreds of families and friends from India and Pakistan.  They are grilling, laughing, singing, riding bikes, dancing...a real party!  I walked for a little bit and suddenly found myself surrounded by six young teenage girls...asking all kinds of questions....where are you from, do you have children, have you been to New York, what are you doing here, do you like Dubai.  They were so sweet and excited I would talk with them.


We have lawn chairs so we are sitting here watching a boat parade...huge yachts and dhows covered with lights. Hundreds are joining our party by boat.  Really colorful and pretty.  So glad we decided to venture out!  There's lots of entertainment to pass the time till the fireworks start!




I just took some pictures of a group of little girls singing.  They started out with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star when I came up.  The Dads gave me permission to take pictures.  Then they sang their national anthem.  I asked the Dads if you put your hand over your heart it or salute (making the motions as I spoke).  They laughed and stood up straight and put their hands at the sides at attention.  So I did the same. It was a sweet encounter.  Everyone has been so friendly and kind.  I think we are the only westerners here!


The fireworks started with a countdown to midnight.  Everyone cheered.  The show at the Burj was coordinated with smaller displays all around us 180 degrees.  One was right behind us - maybe a couple of blocks away.  The little kids were cheering and laughing - so very excited!  


Colorful lights are on buildings all over town.  The show lasted about 15 minutes and was non stop.  It will be fun to see it on You Tube!  I'm guessing there was coordinated music at the Burj.  


It. Was. Spectacular.  I'm so glad we came on a beautiful night in Dubai.


This was the grand finale.  All of the displays around town were on cue and lit up the shy in this brilliant red.  I only took this one picture.  I just wanted to be in the moment, enjoying the sights and sounds.

Now we are in traffic wondering how long it will take us to get back to the house....reporting took 50 minutes.  We got down there in about 25 minutes.

All in all it was a grand way to bring in the new year!  I wonder what 2017 will bring for us....

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