Now, back in Australia, when your child had a birthday, you simply invited 15 of their friends around, and let them all loose in the back yard, and fill them with nutritious snacks like Cheetos, Fanta and fairy bread (for all those non-aussies, white bread with butter and hundreds and thousands, which are so much better than ordinary rainbow sprinkles). They would get so pumped full of sugar and tartrazine that they would think it had been the best day ever, even though the only entertainment was a round of “Pass-the-parcel” and Dad getting drunk in the corner and farting out loud by accident.
But in Dubai, it is impossible to celebrate one’s child’s birthday without shelling out at least 3000 dhirims and coming up with the only thing that has not already been done. Last year we had a “Metro party”, whereby we took Lion and 7 other 6 year olds on the newly opened Dubai Metro, and then after-partied at Magic Planet and TGI Fridays. This year I vowed that 1. I would not have a party that moved venues, and 2. that I would ensure that the location had doors that could be guarded easily by Dad (Hambone), who tends to stare off into space when situations become overwhelming (that and get drunk and fart).
So I completely stuffed up and did exactly what my son wanted (again) and we booked at iFly Dubai – the indoor skydiving experience. At least it was original. But unfortunately there is no party room, so we had to go to Gourmet Burger Kitchen after for munchies, and again I had to take the risk of losing grommits en-route.
Two of the kids freaked out and decided they couldn’t do it, but we actually had nine 6-year olds participate, and it was pretty amazing to watch. Especially considering the instructor was pretty damn hot.
Lion was first to go, and they didn’t have the wind set right so he shot alarmingly upwards. Luckily I was concentrating on the instructor and didn’t really notice until he had to jump up and retrieve him – otherwise I may have done something very skittish and embarrassing like smash my way through and call the party off. When he came back down, he was giving a very blatent “thumbs down” signal, which was suppose to mean “LET ME OUT!!” but the instructor and machine operator ignored that, deciding that he was going to have fun regardless. And they did exactly the same for all the others, who also gave it the thumbs down at least once each on their two flights (except for one, who is known to be completely crackers anyway).
After the excitement, all the kids forgot that they had been scared stiff, and officially declared the experience to be AWESOME, and we headed off for party goodies. I think I managed to get all the kids through the mall and to the correct restaurant (which was great for a kids birthday by the way), and at least there were no extra parents at the end of the day, so I think I am still safe. They then used their little adrenaline-pumped bodies to pop every single balloon in less than 2 minutes, and then ran around terrorising other patrons for the rest of the hour. We sat and drank coffee (pretending it was alcohol) and ignored them, as is pretty much the custom here.
Birthday cake was the planet Neptune surrounded by the night sky, albeit wonky, as I had to make it myself because I am a hopeless and forgot about semi-important things like cake and didn’t order a pretty one from the shop. Lion declared it looked good but tasted yuck. Thanks.
We went out that night, but I can’t remember what happened after I drank 3 glasses of champagne in 10 minutes. Apparently I had a good time…..