Camels And Falcons And Henna, Oh My!

Okay, okay, I know it is cheesy and a bit hokey, but I couldn’t help but enjoy myself at the “Arabian campsite” on my desert excursion.  I wish I’d been able to stay the night out in the desert, but settled for a sunset dinner.

Even with those sweet eyelashes and innocent eyes, I was glad that he had his muzzle on so he didn’t spit on me.

There were camels to ride outside the site and I immediately did it.  I couldn’t pass up my first (and perhaps only) opportunity to ride a camel.  Someone had warned me to hold on tight as the camel got up so it was surprisingly easy.

Falconry is popular in the region and we were treated to a falconry demonstration.  It was impressive.  After learning about raptors at the Carolina Raptor Center, I find them interesting, impressive animals.

The falconer takes off the mask, releases the bird, and swings the meat around on a string for the hawk grab.  Falcons come back for food.

Some people took advantage of the henna painters.  Others enjoyed smoking sheesha pipes.  A traditional pastime in Dubai, sheesha (also known as narghile in Turkey and hookah in India and Pakistan) is a long-stemmed smoking pipe packed with flavored tobacco.  I didn’t partake in that either, but I heard that Strawberry is the most popular favor.

I love middle-eastern food more than just about any other cuisine and was super excited for the spread.  In fact, I was so busy scarfing it down that I didn’t get a picture.  Sorry.

Luckily I was done eating by the time the belly-dancing started.  I love belly-dancing and the belly dancer was much better than I expected.  She performed in the heat for over a half an hour and had people mesmirised.  It is easy to see why.

Happy Thanksgiving From Geneva

At 4:30, it didn’t yet seem quite like Thanksgiving here.  First, he had to work today.  Secondly, there are no flyers from stores advertising their Black Friday deals.  Third, we haven’t done a Turkey Trot.  Fourth, we haven’t seen the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or Football on TV.  Our Thanksgiving celebration doesn’t start until this evening.  Mostly though, it was because we weren’t around family and friends.

We have a lot to be thankful for this year.  So much in fact, that there’s no way we can list it all.  Topping the list is the health of our friends and families (we are also very, very, thankful for them).  We miss you lots and wish we could share today with you.  We have a pretty good idea what you are doing over there and hope you enjoying your Thanksgiving.

I am trying to make today a bit special.  Since we did not pre-order a turkey, I had difficulty finding one (or any turkey at all).  Amazingly, they are not as big fans of the turkey as we are in the US.   He had someone tell him that it is a disgusting, horrible tasting bird.
Since I could not easily find turkey, we are celebrating with….reindeer?!?  It looks really good.  We are also having potatos with cheese and a few kinds of vegetables.  For dessert, I am making Irish Creme Brownies (just like the Pilgrims).   When I went to the American store and saw the price of Libby’s canned pumpkin (the small one was about $10), I chucked the idea of pumpkin pie.  Next year I will try to plan ahead and attempt it from a real pumpkin.

The rest of our Thanksgiving celebration is due to the magic of the internet, skyping with the US and football.  Go Lions!

By the way, send us a note on one of our personal email addresses if you want to say hi (6 hour time change).