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

The reluctant holiday

No, not Thanksgiving. Ain't nobody got time for Thanksgiving here. Gather 'round for a story of a reluctant holiday, or the holiday that almost wasn't, and actually wasn't, for some people, but not others. Or something.

It was announced around 9pm yesterday that Dubai's bid for Expo 2020 was successful. This was met by wild celebration in Dubai and around the country, including fireworks from the Burj Khalifa (what an expensive and risky "just in case!" those firework preparations must have been!). For the last few days, as we've waited to hear the results of Expo 2020 voting, there have been rumors circulating that if Dubai won, Thursday (today) would be declared a holiday. We already have a four-day weekend this weekend because National Day is on the 2nd - we get Sunday and Monday off. Thursday would make this a rockstar FIVE-day weekend.

Complicating things further was the fact that all the kids' schools National Day celebrations - assemblies, making giant flags in the football field, potluck lunch celebrations, parades, etc. - were set to take place on Thursday. It wasn't really even a school day so much as a celebration day. But still, those rumors of Thursday being a holiday were just that - rumors.

When the Expo 2020 announcement was made last night, everyone waited with bated breath to hear if school would be canceled. Personally, I really hoped that it wouldn't. I had big plans to spend all day today cooking Thanksgiving dinner and cleaning the house in preparation therefor, encumbered by only one child, not three. Plus, National Day is Magdalena's favorite holiday, and I knew her gentle spirit would be crushed to wake up and find that the school celebrations had effectively been canceled.

As of bedtime, no holiday had been announced. But at Sterling's 4am feeding, I checked online and stumbled, bleary-eyed, into a huge firestorm that had erupted on fb and Twitter between AUS and its students. Because the Sheikh of Dubai (and Vice President of the UAE) had gone ahead and called it a holiday, and the kids' schools were canceled, but AUS was staying open. This led to a lot of back-and-forth about the precise meaning of "educational institution" as it was used in the announcement about the impromptu holiday.

Meanwhile, my game plan for the day changed in an instant. I am so glad I did a lot of the cooking yesterday, because with all the kids home and going crazy with the pent-up energy they were planning on spending at their school's celebrations, I was frantically removing things from my to-do list. Not crossing them off - removing them. Fattoush salad became a vegetable platter. Cleaning the bathroom became wiping down the bathroom. Vacuuming and mopping became sweeping, and then maybe spot-checking the floor with a Dettol wipe on my foot. My neighbor had the right idea: she set up some tables and chairs outside, stocked them with sundry art supplies, and invited the neighbor kids to have at it. Brilliant.

Obviously I've made my peace with the change in plans since I'm sitting here blogging about it. If you care to read through the angry fb debates, go ahead. It's quite entertaining. Happy Thanksgiving! If you have the day off. And happy National Day! Sorry for the canceled celebrations. Finally, happy Expo 2020 day, whether or not you have the day off.

The Dolores Umbridge picture was the best. (Also the jab at AUD.)

Also, this exchange on Twitter. Whoever was running fb/Twitter for AUS yesterday had a long night.

November 29th, outsourced

Here's why I didn't blog yesterday