Feels like Christmas

I don’t know how to explain it but around this time of the year everything takes on a different feel. With the shorter days, the cold air and shopping frenzy it becomes more apparent that the holidays are coming. But it’s more than that. I get all mellow and nostalgic about my childhood holiday memories specially. I start missing my family back home, the traditions we uphold and that amazingly warm, homey smell of bibingka as you come out of the church at 5 in the morning after attending Simbang Gabi.

In Manila, you see Christmas all over the place as early as September. Shops play carols, put up festive window displays and everywhere it’s red and green and blue and yellow – all the colours of Christmas. Even with the credit crunch, Filipinos still troop to the shops for their holidays gifts. Ibang klase talaga ang Pinoy!

Here in Dubai, the shops are just as festive now, but I heard that Santa won’t be coming to Wafi City this year. Not sure why. But before that, our host country celebrated two holidays in succession this past two weeks. The UAE National Day on December 2nd was a public holiday. Tim decided to put up the UAE flags on our flag posts outside the office for the occassion. I had to organise 4 flags within a 4 hours notice period. My supplier is an absolute star!

Don’t they look lovely?

The flags are still up in respect of Eid Al Adha, which is celebrated throughout this week. The next photo below was taken after I arrived in the office last week. I just love how the light shines behind those ominous rain clouds. It’s been pissing rain this past weekend and for the last two days it’s been better. I hope it holds through to Thursday as our company Christmas party for clients would be a terrible disaster if it rained.

This is not a stairway to heaven, is it?

Aibi and I went to see Twilight last Thursday. It was the most unusual experience I’ve had in the cinema: all the teenagers were squeeing openly, there was applause during the opening credits and specially when Edward Cullen first came into the scene. I was actually surprised that the census board didn’t cut out any of the kissing scene between Bella and Edward. I mean it’s nothing erotic but the fact that you have two people kissing and touching has always been cut out of films shown in the UAE. Everyone, and I mean everyone including the teenaged boy next to me were squeeing as loudly as possible during that scene. It was refreshing to say the least. And hot as hell. Edward Cullen can sneak into my bedroom any time.

Okay, sorry, momentary lapse into fangirlism there.

Oh yeah, she’s been like this since we came out of the cinema!

Last Friday, I met up with some of the ladies from the UAE Knitters forum in Ravelry. Charmaine, Lindsay, Analisa, Hala and myself sat down for some coffee, Coke and knitting at the Madinat Jumeirah. I didn’t get a chance to take photos because I was excited to be actually sitting down with fellow knitters. Besides Hala didn’t like her photos on blogs :). It was really great spending time with these ladies. I hope we can do this more often.

At 5pm we headed down to the Festive Market place where Jennifer (aka Dessert Knitter, also circularpins on Ravelry) has a stall. I think we all ended up buying something. I found the perfect buttons for my February Lady Sweater and also got one skein of this mega chunky woolblend yarn which Aibi loved. Purple is her new black and she wanted a scarf. I did struggle to find a simple pattern which did not end up being too tight or bulky and had to cast on, knit and frog three times before I went to Ravelry and found the Dolores Park Cowl pattern.

I cast on last Saturday on the way to Isabelle’s birthday party. Here is the cowl in progress, modelled by yours truly while we wait at a Starbucks.

Thanks to Aibi for a flattering photo

And this is her with the finished product. I did a KFB into every stitch two rounds before the cast off round which gave that ruffled finish. The cowl has been blocked and is drying as we speak.

Yes, it’s Chrismastime in Dubai. How do we know? The snowmen are here! This is the entrance to the Festive Market at the Madinat. They even have a model train set complete with (fake) snow and a miniature alpine town.

Frosty’s brother Nippy

I now leave you with a couple of random photos taken while we lunch al fresco at the Dome Cafe.

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