Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

UAE National Day is approaching

I think some people out there assume that the United States has a monopoly on overt, gaudy displays of flag-based country worship. NOT SO. UAE National Day is on December 2nd, and it's the 40th anniversary so everything is extra decked out. My kids' new favorite car game is seeing who can spot the most flags out their window as we drive through town. Take a look (and keep in mind that I snapped most of these photos while driving, thanks):

A villa on the Sharjah/Ajman border.

Where do you even get flags that big??

We stopped at "The Discounts" in Ajman to buy some UAE-flag-ified hairbows and they were all advertising their National Day wares.

Last year for National Day, I remember a lot of flags attached to the hoods and windows of cars in dubious manners (like they rolled down the window, stuck the edge of the flag in, and rolled it back up). This year, people are getting these fancy vinyl decals on their windows. Very nice.

Even Carrefour in Ajman is getting into the action, selling UAE...cowboy hats?

More Carrefour decorations.

Another villa with another flag.

Sorry, there was just no way to crop the dripping bird poo out of this one. The flags are awesome enough that I included this photo anyway.

I think this is officially the longest flag I've seen, at least placed horizontally (by Festival City there are some really long vertical ones).

Sharjah police cars have been outfitted with the official 40th anniversary design.

This is on campus at the women's dorm reception center.

Oh, and this is Miriam in her UAE flag dress and sunglasses that we got at The Discounts. I got really excited about the dress and told Jeremy that if we ever get souvenirs for anyone ever again (a practice we called off several years ago), it should be this. But he reminded me that in the US, this would just look like a Mexican dress. Of course he's right.

In addition to the flags and banners, there are lots of red/white/green lights around town. You could almost mistake them for Christmas decorations, actually. I'm really excited for National Day this year, and what's interesting is that it's not just the Emiratis who are celebrating it. A lot of us expats seem to be getting into it, too. Perhaps the fact that the government just decreed Thursday a holiday from private AND public sector work has something to do with it.

Maps, mines, and Bear Grylls

Raising Daniel