Friday, February 20, 2009

CNY Party @ Embassy & Dubai Global Village

it's never too late to give friends and buddies well-wishes, so here i am, a few weeks late, wishing my chinese friends a happy year of the ox - may the courage and strength of the mighty ox reflects in our hard work this year giving us plenty of wealth and ong!


in keeping with the malaysian tradition of open house, the malaysian embassy in abu dhabi held a chinese new year makan-makan.

we came early, as we wanted to leave early to make it to the dubai global village before sundown. the crowd slowly poured in soon after. throngs of malaysian chinese in dubai packed the place up and before long, mr khairul already making himself comfy meeting new friends. i met this lovely chinese lady from kelantan, just arrived 2 weeks ago to join her husband here. it's a shame i didn't get her number! if you're reading this, drop me a line!

the food was alright - the chicken rendang was surprisingly delicious - being someone who doesn't like to eat rendang with rice (me likey with lemang or nothing!). in fact the rendang was the most malaysian dish served. in the words of the chinese uncle lining up in the buffet queue behind me - "no satay...where's satay? should have satay-lor than only malaysia maa..." i smiled in agreement.

man, i miss manglish!

speaking of meeting new friends, i got to know jesi, mom of three adorable boys, the youngest the same age as khaleef. sweet as a button! also met a charming pilot who cheekily quipped that he was left with his three kids here while his wife went back to malaysia with the baby. 3 spies for dad, huh?

this is us with the approachable malaysian ambassador to UAE, datuk yahaya abdul jabar. all smiles, he hailed from penang, much to the pride of mr. khairul, a penang boy himself. so eye-rolling-up lah when they start to speak in loghat penang! yawn!

khaleef enjoying his first ever-ever-ever cotton candy - sceptical at first; looking suspiciously at the kapas-like thingy until i said, "eat!"

leaving the makan-makan, we headed to dubai global village. we successfully arrived before sundown - discovered it was super-jam-packed. i mean, it was pretty packed when we went twice before, but this is outrageously packed! well, it figures - since tomorrow is the last day and they will bungkus after that, until next year comes for them to start it up again. so people were making their last kopek shopping, hoping to get the best bargain on these last 2 days.

notice kahfi was wrapped all warm and cosy in his crib while parents and bro shop around

we had few missions set up from the beginning as not to get too distracted by other things:

  • get more honey from the yemen pavillion
  • get more shawls and jubah
  • find rugs or cheap carpets
  • find framed ayat Quran to put on the wall

we did get the honey (read about our honey-buying experience here) - and bought shawls from lebanon, rugs from syria and senegal and jubah from egypt. great bargain! we also got this gorgeous sculptured ayat Quran from the egypt pavillion. we went to the iran pavillion and saw that it was truly famous for its kacang-kacang - so mr. khairul bought himself pistachios and this sweet-choc-peanuty candy thingy. crunch!

most interesting part was when we met a mr. jamal at the lebanon pavillion. mr. khairul and him got to talking about the lebanese traditional garb, mr. khairul telling him he'll be going to lebanon in may and mr. jamal having 2 factories back home - let's just say that at the end of the conversation with him, he pleasantly said in his typical lebanese accent,

"come to lebanon. in lebanon, you have a friend."

and he pat his chest as he said that. you can't get anymore sincere and full of warmth like he was.

i'll leave you now - satisfied with our great buys - with a pinch of how bustling the dubai global village was, packed with people of all nationality. it was very difficult to maneuvere with two strollers along the pathways inside each pavillion, so when buying the ayat Quran, mr. khairul went inside alone, while i waited outside. bored, i took this video.


find out what is the dubai global village in my posting about it here.

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