Our five year adventure in Doha, Qatar ended June 1, 2012, but the memories will always remain. It's back to Texas where I have decided...Qatar isn't cornering the market on "quirky", as I once believed. Thanks for opening my eyes to the world, Doha!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


We have a nice community goblet for our water cooler in the gym over here at the pink villas. I'm not sure if we're saving the earth with this reusable glass or just avoiding the hassle of dealing with messy paper cups and plastic bottles. What the heck, go for it. "Cheers!" Oh, and please return the glass to it's original position when finished, so it will be ready for the next thirsty soul. Thanks for your cooperation!

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Exit Strategy~Check ✔

I once read somewhere that the secret to surviving Qatar is to have a plan for your next trip out of the country before you step foot into the country. I wish I could remember who to credit those words of wisdom to, because it holds so much truth. Don't get me wrong. This is a great country providing great experiences, BUT an exit strategy is a sanity safety net. With that being said, our sanity looks to stay intact, unless I go crazy making all the decisions involved in the planning of the next few months...

September: We're heading to France for Eid. Yep, we have a built in excuse to travel the French back roads now that Kristi has planted herself there. So, in about ten days or so, we'll fly to Paris, rent a car, and let the explorations begin. As expected, I don't have much confirmed yet, but we do have flights and a rental car. Those pesky details, such as living quarters and where exactly are we going have yet to be worked out. Decisions, decisions. You know how I am on that. Thanks, Mom.

With Kristi having an entire week off at month's end, I can't let her suffer alone in Europe, poor baby. I just may have to meet her somewhere in the middle, or maybe she will join us in Doha. There will be some great weather at that time, along with the Sony Ericsson Women's Tennis tournament being in town that week. Hmm, another decision.

The second Eid provides for another week of vacation and everyone in Doha knows, you never stay in country when you have a week to spare. What do do? Yes, even more decisions.

December: Back to the States for which will prove to be a whirl wind tour of Christmas in Texas and Tennessee in a limited time frame. Thank goodness, not as many decisions here.

So, we have our exit strategy sewn up, well, pieced together, anyway. I hope you're doing the same.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dream Dream Dream

Dear Company that my Hubby works for:

Attached is a villa listing in today's Qatar Tribune that I would like you to take into consideration for our living quarters while in Qatar.


Your possibly new BFF...Syb

All I Have to Do is Dream ~ The Everly Brothers
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Drive Right, Stay Alive

Yesterday's post was about timing, which carries over into today's topic. Unfortunately, someone's timing was a bit off yesterday. No, this didn't happen during the iftar rush, it was late yesterday morning when traffic was practically null and void. It's not an unusual occurrence, as traffic accidents are one of the leading, if not the leading, causes of death here. This particular accident occurred on the road that we live on just two roundabouts down. Hopefully the driver had on his seat belt, but that would probably be against the odds in Qatar, even though it is the law of the land.

Read what the U.S. Department of State has to say about driving in Qatar...
"Traffic accidents are among Qatar’s leading causes of death. Safety regulations in Qatar are improving, thanks to a more stringent traffic law adopted in October 2007 and a country-wide traffic safety campaign. However, informal rules of the road and the combination of local and third-country-national driving customs often prove frustrating for first-time drivers in Qatar. The combination of Qatar’s extensive use of roundabouts, many road construction projects and the high speeds at which drivers may travel can prove challenging. The rate of automobile accidents due to driver error and excessive speed is declining but remains higher than in the United States. In rural areas, poor lighting, wandering camels and un-shouldered roads present other hazards." ...click to read more
Buckle up and be careful, folks!

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's All About Timing

For those of you that have been afraid to leave the house this Ramadan due to rumors of hunger crazed erratic drivers on the roads in the evenings, fear not. You will be pleasantly surprised at the empty roads and mall parking garages. Just give the aforementioned (insert adjectives here) drivers time to make it to their Iftar locations, then you can head out just before sunset or anytime in the few hours afterward. Here's your chance to eat at your favorite mall restaurant and enjoy the added bonus of Ramadan decorations without driving around and around jockeying for an empty parking space. Take advantage, before it's too late!

City Center Mall during Ramadan ~ Doha, Qatar
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Coloring of Doha

Once upon a time not too long ago when arriving in the land of sand, white was the only color I saw. It seemed that everything was void of color, be it white Land Cruisers, white sand, or plain white villas. Ok, the Land Cruisers did have brown stripes, the sand was more of an off white, and the villas sported an ecru color. Still, something seems to be changing these days. The longer I am here, the more colors are popping out. I'm not sure whether it is that what I literally see is changing or just how I see it. Could it be that Qatar is just now discovering the color palette? Ok, you caught me. We know that is not true, as I do live in the PINK villas that have been here for a few more years than I have. However, I do believe that the color trend is spreading and all colors of the rainbow will be dusting Doha before long. I see more cars of color on the road and brightly painted villas are coming into view. However, I'm afraid the color of the desert sands will not change. Gosh, I hope not, anyway.

Is that lemon or what? Regardless, I love it!

True Colors ~ Cyndi Lauper
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sightings Along the Way

Our trip through the desert this past weekend was not as boring as I would have lead you to believe. We took in quite a few interesting sights along the way, as we drove through Al Khor, Al Ruweis, and Al Shamal. I was surprised at how homey and quaint these small towns are. The only drawback for me was the nonexistence of American restaurants. I mean, I didn't expect any, but if they build them, I will come.

I think someone in Al Ruweis has his own
Qatari man-cave.

"man cave n. A dedicated area of a house, such as a basement, workshop, or garage, where a man can be alone or socialize with his friends."

Satellite and patriotic paint job included...nice!

Another camper, but this one parked in front of the Al Sultan Beach Resort in Al Khor. Their "honeymoon suite", perhaps?

An abandoned dhow in Al Shamal. Looks like it may have been there longer than the U.S.S. Minnow!

Another abandoned dhow, but perhaps this one...intentionally ;)

Fisherman in Al Khor. I love the simplicity of fishing in Qatar. No fancy lures, spinners, reels...a string, sometimes attached to a pole will work just fine.

Boater in Al Khor. Boat docks and ramps not needed. Land Cruiser in reverse will do the trick.

Gilligan's Island Theme Song

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Fort Zubara

David and I jumped in the Jeep and pointed it north on Saturday and drove for what seemed an eternity through the deserted Qatari desert. Along the way all I could think about was that next time we will bring along emergency rations for the ride. Breaking down in an isolated area with the extreme temps here...well let's just say, one wouldn't last long. My imagination running amok, as usual. Anyway, we finally landed in Zubara, more specifically, Fort Zubara, 100k or so later. Not really that far, but seriously, sand is sand. So, there wasn't much scenic break along the way, but it was worth the drive to see the fort in all its glory. The structure appears to be ancient, but apparently was built in the 1930's. A bedouin man met us at the gate flashing a ten riyal bill at us indicating, pay up and I'll let you in. I'm not so sure he was there on official capacity, but David forked it over, just in case. It was a great outing and truth be told, I enjoyed every minute of the unremarkable drive. Until next time...

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lebanese Restaurant...Duh

That's the only thing we can figure out what the recently renamed restaurant, LRD, at The Pearl stands for. It was originally named Burj Al Hamam, but somewhere along the way the name was changed for reasons unbeknownst to me. It's not even a fancily scrolled LRD. It's written in boring block letters on the door. Moving beyond the nondescript name is a lovely restaurant with an inviting ambiance. Lebanese food, nor Arabic food in general, has ever been on my list of favorites, but Chef Hamad's skills are giving me pause. The hummus was an amazingly smooth and creamy concoction with just the right mix of ingredients. I'm usually one to pass on the chick pea mush, but LRD's actually left me wanting for more. The tasty fattoush was just right and the shish tawook was moist and tender, unlike most of Doha's chicken. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the fatayer, which I found to have a bit of a strong flavor, but remember I'm not a connoisseur of Lebanese cuisine. The real test...will I go back? Definitely! Well, that's if they will let me. My fellow Texas transplant, Courtney, and I were a bit "Loud American Style", to say the least. We can't seem to help ourselves once we get going. Hats off to the staff for letting us have our fun.

Word of warning: If you need a group shot, put your camera on self timer mode and do it yourself. Photography skills are a bit lacking.

Me, Courtney, Graham, and some of David


Freshly prepared, good quality, good flavor

Warm, welcoming, cool pink shaded chandeliers (wasn't allowed to take pics!)


The tab for the four of us was 338QR ($93) which included:

1 plate of Shish Tawook
1 mystery meat plate (pictured-top right)
1 fattoush
1 hummus
1 fatayer
1 big bowl rice
1 dessert

Location: The Pearl
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Mens Requirements

Yes, I did a double take when I saw this shop in Doha's, Al Sadd area. Mens Requirements? My mind was racing, What the heck does that mean? I picked my mind up out of the gutter and did the obvious and peaked into the window and discovered every white material imaginable to tailor thobes. Duh, all men of Qatar require thobes, hence Mens Requirements. On second thought, it makes perfect sense.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Qatar's Bridge to Nowhere


Pronunciation: \ˈbrij\
Function: noun

"a structure carrying a pathway or roadway
over a depression or obstacle"

Talk about a bridge to nowhere...

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