It never ceases to amazing me at how quickly time has gone by the past few years. Have I really celebrated 4 years worth of birthdays in the UAE? 4 years of birthdays without my mom making me a birthday dinner? 4 years of the super bowl not impacting my birthday weekend? 4 years of not taking a birthday trip to the casino with Kate? 4 years without taking advantage of Red Robin’s free birthday burger? 4 years without a birthday black cloud hanging over my head? And to add to the pile of proof that time is flying by, this post is already 2 months after my birthday!
So, in case you haven’t been keeping track, here is a quick recap: first birthday celebration in the UAE was in Abu Dhabi, second was in Al Ain, and the third was in Dubai. At this point, it almost seems like I am intentionally celebrating my birthday in a different city each year. Well, this year was no different as I celebrated my birthday in yet another city- Sharjah.
You may be asking, why Sharjah? That’s a good question. Sharjah is not the emirate that most people first think of when planning a night out. It is the most conservative of the emirates which includes a ban on alcohol. However, my lovely husband arranged for us to have a night away from the kids – our first since June after getting married, so honestly we really didn’t care where we were at as long as it was quiet.
Checking into our room at the Radisson Blu Resort went fairly quickly, until we walked into our room. It took my husband all of about .00008 of a second to turn around, walk right out of the room with a ‘hell no’ upon seeing that we were given a room with twin beds. Unfortunately, my birthday falls during the “Sharjah Festival of Lights” so the hotel was fully booked. It took them nearly two hours to ‘find’ us a room with one bed suitable for a married couple not only celebrating a birthday, but more importantly, celebrating a night with no children.
After dinner is when things got fun….. we broke out the smuggled in cooler of…Sprite, jumped into bed, and….. watched TV. Wait? Where did you think I was going with this? Yep, that’s right we watched a horribly edited, cheesy romantic Hallmark Channel Movie, Second Chances. I never realized that even Hallmark movies required editing. It got so confusing by the end of it that we couldn’t help but laughing at the ridiculousness of it. Are they dating? Roommates? Co-workers? Who knows because so much of the story line was edited out. I just can’t imagine that Hallmark would have created a movie that required that much editing!
Then we watched a Bollywood movie, London, Paris, New York. There appeared to be little editing of this movie which was full of unmarried sex, drinking, and other haram (forbidden) activities. In addition to being a typical Bollywood ridiculous Hindi movie, it added to the humor by randomly throwing in English words, enough that even if it hadn’t had subtitles, I think I would have understood what was happening. Here’s a 30 second trailer of fun London Paris New York just so you too can have a giggle.
The next morning, we both got a couple’s massage and facial at the Ellipse Spa. Of course the spa treatments were done Sharjah (UAE?) style of being in separate rooms. Then we headed home to Al Ain feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to take on living in the UAE a year older.