Prehistory: we left Moscow for Dubai almost 6 years ago, and its been totally different experience as far as Christmas and NY is concerned. Temperature about 30C, heat, people in shorts all around, and a bad parody on Christmas trees and the rest of attributes.
Today I wake up later than my usual 6am, keeping in mind that I won't go to bed on my usual 10pm (ooh such a challenge!! Hate to sleep late!)
Cat feeding. If I don't do it first thing in the morning, he will blow my brain and wake up Anton, which I don't want to happen. That's also the reason why I don't put on the light.
Gosh!!! Did any magical force just transferred me from Dubai to London while I was sleeping??!!!
Im trying to draw the face on my face, sighing about my make up leftovers... I'm not using much of make up, that's why I don't have all those tons of bottles and palettes, as all my girlfriends do. There will be no salary in December, so I can't even buy...
Look at these two! Good that I have already dressed and gathered my stuff, cause it's too much temptation to sneak under the blanket again!!
Ready to leave. I was deciding what to wear today for about 5 minutes (which is way too long for me!!!) cause I didn't want to feel formal today, and at the same time I'm going to work... first I thought that I would feel cozy and wintery in this sleeveless turtleneck, but finally I ended up sweating while doing a last minute shopping for the night 😂
Omg!!! I'm freaking out. Am I actually in Dubai???
I am also bit worried cause tonight we planned to go and see Burj Khalifa fireworks, and if it would be foggy, the whole plan is ruined...
So today's plan is to work until afternoon, then go and do last minute shopping, rush back home, clean home as much as possible, cook food and start dinner around 8pm, then leave to Burj Khalifa around 10.30 pm, come back home and keep celebrating until we sleep drunk, my husband and I, two of us. Beautiful I think!
While rolling this in my head, I'm arriving at destination, a small community mall, cause I don't want to suicide by working in big malls on NY Eve.
Mammamia!! I was planning a quiet work on early morning in a small mall, and I come and see this.
I am brand visual merchandiser, so my job is basically to clear all this mess 🙈
Plus, they implemented the sale strategy with a ton of mistakes, so I have to redo all the section, and do it fast, before the store opens!
And then customers start coming and shopping like crazy for all dress shoes, and I end up serving them cause one staff didn't come in the morning, and I just have to help. I'm a bit angry with guys for not being prepared, and leaving the store in this condition, and I have to wait for the store manager to come and speak to him, so anyways, I'm just helping to serve customers, it's always fun, and I don't want to spoil my NY mood.
It's past noon, when I finally can leave after I did all what I have planned in this store. Bye people! Poor guys, they will be super busy today.
I just realized that I haven't eaten today yet! I sit in Tim Horton, having my favorite falafel and caramel crunch latte. Was supposed to support my NY mood, but apparently this combination wasn't very well accepted by my stomach, but this I felt much later...
I continue working. I have 37 stores across the country that are sending me weekly pictures of display, and I send them the feedback. This takes time, but proved to be very effective, so I do it every free minute. Average 600 pictures per week.
Look at the weather now!! I'm soooo happy!! We are so spoiled here in Dubai... 2-3 hours of fog or clouds, and we are already in depression. But with such sun, life is beautiful, isn't it?)
I am moving to my second and last work destination for today. And there i wisely planned to do my shopping. But need to put petrol first. Omg, what a line!!
While waiting I make shopping list. I'm not good at that, I normally don't do it and forget few important things, but today I just can't fock it up. It's NY night.
I'm lucky to find parking here, seems super busy. Thank you god for this amazing weather!!
I go to the store, planning to spend little time here and do log out. Time is late, and I'm little bit worried that I will be late with cooking. Store is moderately busy, but I meet my two area managers and I take time to discuss few points, plus do a floor walk, greeting the staff and giving few tips about display.
Finally I'm free!!
But again I take time to find the parking next to supermarket, cause I will be carrying heavy bags. I run to the supermarket, and this is the moment when I wish I would have put on something very light and comfortable.
I do all grocery shopping, and here is the breaking moment, when I stack for nearly 30 minutes, trying to pick the movies to watch tonight. Our home is TV-free and Internet-free environment, so we buy movies, or go to cinema, if we want to watch something. But this stupid store have nothing! I end up buying Die Hard 2 😂
I reach home, thinking how to organize all the tasks, and what to start with. I have very limited time to prepare everything. Omg how did this all happen? Why do I end up rushing on this beautiful day?!
Unload the bags. This seems like very few things, was I worth it to kill few good hours for that only?))
To relax and think clearly, I pour myself a glass of white. You deserved it girl. Now go.
Somehow I'm still working 😂
Olala, I compltely forgot that I need to wrap the gift for Anton!!!
As we are very short of money this time, I just bought him the slippers that he really needed ($10) and made the patches with the help of my friends in Levi's (absolutely free, including the patches). What to do, hard times!))
When you are away from your family and land, you start cherishing some things and traditions that seemed stupid or unnecessary before. Like food, for example. All these traditional Russian salads are really heavy and mostly unhealthy, especially when consumed after midnight on NY night, but we miss home atmosphere so much especially during this holiday time, so we end up cooking the same stuff here:)
This one we call 'Herring in Fur', so you have one layer of marinated herring, thin layer of fresh onion (optional but gives amazing taste along with herring), layer of boiled carrot, layer of boiled potatoes, finally layer of boiled beetroot, and covered with generous layer of mayonnaise!
Then you are actually supposed to put it in the fridge for a night, or few hours at least, so that mayonnaise goes through all layers of vegetables, but as I'm not a good housewife, I just cover every layer with a thin portion of mayonnaise, and leave the top layer 'healthy'. This is final result.
While cooking I watch some old Christmas comedy movie and sip wine.
I make another traditional Russian salad, we call it Oliviè, but the rest of the world knows it as 'Russian Salad'. This is another must have on your Russian NY table.
That's it! I clean up the kitchen and put a bowl of mandarins, that is one more must have for a Russian New Year!
Then I go and wash off my makeup cause I feel a bit tired, and I choose a dress for the night :) we are at home, and it's 25+C outside, so I see no reason why I cannot wear shorts!
Time to prepare the house and lit the lights!
And to prepare the terrace outside as well!
We love our outdoor space!
Anton comes home from work!! He brings some props and we dress up!
We decide to give our gifts early! Cause suddenly I get a message from my friend, that she is alone at home, little weirdo. And as a good friends, we cannot leave her alone this night, and we call her over. So that would not be polite to gift to each other in her presence, so we open our gifts now. I get leather cover journal, exact thing that I wanted! Anton gets his slippers :)
We go outside and start the fire. Today the main dish on the table will be grilled ribs!
While grilling, we watch Die Hard 😂 and sip cocktails (Vana Tallin liquor with berry juice). I love these times so much!
Table is ready! Mm, yummy!!!!
A family portrait :)
Finally, when ribs are over, our little Colombian friend finally makes it to our place! Uff, this Colombian timing drives me mad sometimes! It's time to leave, so we are little bit in a rush.
It's not easy to watch fireworks in Dubai. They shoot directly from the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world! We have been here for 5 NYears and we have never watched it even close! The whole area of downtown is closed from 6pm on NY day, and all roads 5 km around are completely packed with cars! You can't even get close, and if you happened to be somewhere around on midnight, it will take at least 3 hours after the fireworks to get out. Taxis are cancelled, metro is shut, so you just have to walk, and Dubai is not a walk-friendly city, trust me!
So we chose the place near Meydan Racecourse, in the deserted area, where you still can have a good view of the Burj Khalifa, and it seemed relatively easy for us to drive there and drive back.
There were few other people around, who also came to that point to watch the show, but it wasn't crowded at all! We brought the folding chairs and mandarins, and settled :)
And so it starts!
It was a fairly good view point! Unfortunately you can't take the best pictures with iPad, but I'm not a photography fan either.
The show goes for good 10 minutes, and it's getting really smoky! I dont envy those people who is watching it from the downtown area itself!!
And imagine how actual residents of Burj Khalifa experience this!!
Finale!... it looks like a battlefield!
Time to run away from here, cause after 5 minutes all the roads in the city, leading From downtown towards the outskirts will be packed!
We reach home and sit outside to enjoy drinks and watch the movies!
Beautiful fresh night, and it's not foggy at all! I think Dubai government had something to do with that.
Daniela is leaving before this time, and we realize that it's really late, but somehow we are not even drunk, and still excited, though, physically tired, so we force ourselves to go to bed.
Where I pour myself another drink, and do some relaxation procedures, and finally fall asleep :)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!