Christmas when you’re living overseas can be a funny thing.
On the upside, here in Dubai you’ve got champagne brunches, take-out turkeys from five-star hotels, child-friendly beach clubs with the sunshine to enjoy them and the fact everywhere’s open on Christmas Day.
My in-laws, who are staying with us and looking to buy property, were able to view apartments with a real-estate agent after we’d opened presents – and could even have gone on to Ikea.
On the downside, you’re far from family back home, there are no seasonal specials of Doctor Who or Family Fortunes on the TV, some people think it doesn’t feel festive unless it’s cold and miserable outside and, being a Muslim country, there’s not a baby Jesus in sight, plus you might not officially have the day off work.
And this year – just like the previous two years – there was another curveball for unsuspecting Christmas shoppers, summed up by a friend of mine on Facebook as follows:
“No time to finish shopping, no days off to speak of, no Bacardi (don’t worry, I’ve got vodka) and no husband …. But it was the ‘no sellotape’ that pushed me over the edge.”
Yes, the local supermarket had, once again, failed to order extra supplies, which probably meant there was no sellotape left anywhere in Dubai – leaving, I can only imagine, thousands of expats with presents to wrap frantically wondering if they’d have to use Pritt stick instead.
I called my friend straight away, because as I mentioned before, I have a son who uses rolls of the stuff to tape his toys to the floor so they don’t get cleared away, and so I buy industrial quantities and stash it away.
Next year, I bet loads more expats with stockings to stuff will do the same – as I said, it can be a funny ole time Christmas in Dubai, and apologies for blogging about sellotape, again!