The List- Special Holiday Edition

I know it’s kind of late in the game- I missed Islamic New Year and Hanukka, and Christmas and Kwanza are just few days away, but I am sort of a Scrooge and I have been distracted from timely holiday preparations- so I have a holiday themed list this week. You may find inspiration for future gifts and outings, or a few ideas for procrastinators, either way enjoy this week’s edition 4 days early of ‘what to’, ‘where to’, and ‘how to’ in Dubai and around the globe. And if you don’t find any of that, there are plenty of great YOUTUBE links to entertain you. (FYI- the red text in each section are actually links to cool things)

Happy Holidays,

In Dubai…

Where to eat – Al Diyafa: Fah-rah-rah-rah-rah-Rah-rah-rah-raaaaaah in one of the best Christmas movies of all time, the special turkey is ravaged by a pack of dogs and the only restaurant in town that’s open is Chop Suey Palace. So it is with this in mind that I recommend Noodle Bowl on Al Diyafa Street. Delicious Chinese and Malaysian food for Recessionista prices.

Where to sip- Deira: Everybody is talking/tweeting about Toffee Nut Lattés, blah blah blah… C’mon brainwashed consumers, Starbucks is lame. Next time you’re in Deira head over to the JW Marriott and order a hot chocolate in the Vienna Café in the lobby. It’s open 24hrs and they serve them submarino style like they do in Argentinian – real chocolate dunked into steaming hot milk...mmmmm (add a peppermint stick and you'll be ooozing Christmas)

What to mall-Al Quoz: Antique Museum- Ok, it’s not a museum and it’s technically not a mall per se, but it offers 65,000sq ft of treasures from around the world all crammed in this Al Quoz warehouse, none of which are actually antiques, but you’ll find gifts a plenty. Al Quoz Industrial Estate (take the first right before Kanoo building and first right again, Antique Museum is on your right). Open 9.30am-8.30pm 04 347 9935

What to plan ahead for: Avatar has opened to rave reviews and sold out cinemas. Plan ahead and get your tickets early. It’s playing on the IMAX screen daily at Ibn Battuta Grand Megaplex 10:30am, 1:30pm, 4:30pm, 7:30pm, 10:30pm

What to gift:
etisalat or du pre-paid phone cards are probably the best thing you could give the kind people who sweep our floors, guard our buildings, pump our gas, and myriad other (often menial) jobs in this city. Stock up on a stack and take this time at the end of the year to recognize the work they do.

And around the globe…

Who to follow on Twitter: @longestwiener [teeheeheehee] the Longest Wiener Contest is a charity fundraiser for animal charities and non-profits. If wieners aren’t your thing, find another charity group to follow on Twitter, like @CharityTweets, @SavetheChildren or @CharityWater and get inspired by more ways to be a source of generosity in the world.

WTF?: A clip from a South Indian Tamil 80's movie "Athisiya Piravi". I wish I understood Tamil to know what the plot of the scene is about. (the holiday theme here comes from the song in the clip Holiday Rap by MC Miker G & DJ Sven

I imagine it goes something like this:

Migdet dances

Wife comes in and breaks up the party

“Uh dah dah dah dah dah!
“Aaaah Chemporchodi, did you got to that special market in Chennai and buy another dancing midget!? I told you not to do that, I don’t need another mouth to feed."
“Run along boys, go see if you can pawn him off on our neighbors. I think Aamithyan is getting married soon, maybe they will take him for the wedding entertainment. Puh puh puh puh puh..”
“Chemporchodi you must be tired, I can’t see that you are laying on top of a ghetto blaster, get some rest.”

Wife leaves

Midget sneaks back in

“Yo dude, your old lady busted you. I told you we had to be more smooth about this, break it to her slowly. Now give me a drag off that blunt homie and we’ll figure out how to tell her about our dream to win America’s Best Dance Crew."

The comments are equally WTF? Here is a sampling:
elsangre333 (10:05am)
WOW! i'd like to buy one, but when they are still a baby. Then i would train it. i would raise million off one of those dwarf dancers.
CoralMan24 (12:37pm)
I would pay to see him on Dancing with the Stars.
marceloribeirobarros (5:48pm)
betskier (6:03am)
Where can you buy one??????
NoiKeomisy (7:12am)
no its not a midget....its a 2 year old light skinned black dude named lil nitro
Eggroll42 (11:37am)
madshoe99 (2:20pm)
he actually lives in a zoo and eats raw steaks

Take a laughternoon break: Again, Christmas lends itself well to humor. Check out Sketchy Santas [via @urlesque]

What to read:
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens One of the greatest writers of all time, here is the entire text online. Definitely worth a read again.
And I’m also reposting a link for my other favorite Christmas story from David Sedaris, hilarious
Apologies non-Christian friends, but the I’m short on ideas for humorous Kwanza stories or classical tales of visits from jinn on the eve of the Islamic New Year, feel free to add them in the comments.

What to DVD/Slingbox/iTunes: A Christmas Story, as mentioned above, is the best Christmas movie of all time. There is a reason it plays for 24hours on Christmas eve in the U.S.

How to change the world: is one of my favorite microfinance programs where you browse entrepreneurs' profiles from all over the world, choose someone to lend to, and then make a small, but valuable loan to that person. For as little as $25 you can help a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can re-lend to someone else.

*new* a few links and ideas I find interesting that don’t always fit into the list

Random recommendations:
Read about soushoku danshi, also known as Japanese Herbivore Men- shun sex, don't spend money, and like taking walks- represent an unspoken rebellion against many of the masculine, materialist values associated with Japan's 1980s bubble economy.

When Poker Face came out I thought it was the most ridiculous song ever.
But just like “Turn me on” by Kevin Lyttle and “Ignition” by R. Kelly, its ridiculousness eventually grew on me. And I am slowly becoming a Lady Gaga fan. It may be more that she has Rilke tattooed on her arm,
but also the fact that she’s already so incredibly successful at 23 and has been playing piano since she was 4, and no one on this earth can really rock Alexander McQueen they way it’s supposed to be rocked but her.
Her stylist Nicola Formichetti has a beautiful blog worth perusing if you are interesting in the madness that is Lady Gaga.

And speaking of dancing midgets: If you watched Twin Peaks (David Lynch’s TV masterpiece, you’ll appreciate this 'Twin Peaks' Wishes You 12 Days of Christmas


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