Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Qatar miscellany

Here are a few last tidbits about our trip to Doha, which came to a reluctant end on Friday.

-One day when we were walking on the Corniche, we passed a jumpsuited municipal employee cleaning up litter at the park. He was talking on a cell phone, and it was a nicer cell phone than the one I currently own. Hmm.

-Farther along the Corniche, there was (Jeremy tells me it's called) a half-pipe and all the kids were using it as a slide. It was so freakishly slippery and so much fun for the girls.

-In my entire life, I cannot recall ever meeting a person from Nepal. In one week in Qatar, I met THREE.

-I was aware that the Tour of Qatar (as in, the bicycle race) was going on the entire week we were there. By Friday, our final day in the country, I had given up any hope of seeing it. Then, entirely by accident, we stumbled upon the final stage racing down the Corniche. It was AWESOME. We could not have planned our timing better, and the amazing thing was that we didn't plan it.

-One of the nights we were there, the girls and I spent the entire afternoon walking out and about in the city. We were supposed to go directly from our outing to meet Jeremy and his colleagues for dinner at 7pm, and by that time we were a raging, windblown, dusty mess. I had already been considering buying the girls each a pretty dress at the Souq Waqif and the chance of appearing slightly more sheveled in front of some important people sealed the deal.

The thing is, once the girls had these things on, they were rock stars to the general public. They were mobbed everywhere we went. I'm not trying to say that I'm famous, or that my kids are famous, or that my kids are cuter than yours, or that we're special - I'm just trying to say that it was out of control and I got a feel for what it must be like when the paparazzi are after you. Everywhere we turned, a dozen someones were gawking at Miriam and Magdalena and half of that dozen were busily snapping photographs. If you can imagine.

I leave you with some pictures of pretty buildings in Doha.

To those of you who made it to the end of this post, I give you my overall verdict on Doha. Honestly, there is not a ton of stuff to do there. But what there is, is very nice. I can't see many people making a purposeful, stand-alone trip to Qatar unless they are a completist doing a tour of the Gulf. Again, though, Doha was a pleasant place to spend a week and I appreciated that it was quiet, relatively small, and that its few attractions were very worthwhile.


Spencer said...

Just a couple of thoughts:

--Glad to hear that the Qatari mobbing of your too-cute children is somewhat less traumatic than the Egyptian version of the same phenomenon.

--Love the use of the word 'sheveled.'

--Very jealous that you saw the ToQ while you were there. Thought you might enjoy this photo. (Looks like you got a shot of the (doomed) break. Very cool.)

Nancy said...

Oh, I think I can understand that part. :)

Is it anything like what happens when your toddler decides to veil in public in Egypt? Talk about mob x 10 factor (which, you know about, too)!

Doha looks beautiful.

Our take on Dubai when we went there was that it was far too clean to be real...we were like, "They're cleaning the BACKS of the no parking signs!?" We were in Middle Eastern wonderland. :) And I'm sure those sign cleaners get paid more than I do now...

Bridget said...

The Qatar mobbing was definitely less traumatic than in Egypt. Nobody was man-handling them. Just fervently admiring them from afar, enough so that I could realistically pretend to not notice them. It was nice. In comparison.

Spencer, thank you for appreciating our Tour of Qatar sighting!

Jen said...



Rob and Sara said...

I love the girls' dresses!

The buildings are so cool to look at too. Thanks for sharing the pictures. I feel like such the world traveler as I live vicariously through your blog. :)

Becky said...

Seems like a great trip! I love the girls' dresses. I'm glad you had an excuse to get them!! Jake will be so envious that you got to see the bike race. I'll be sure and send him to your blog to check it out!


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