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!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I've been officially informed by Ms. JGA that I need to blog. It seems that Jan, being my previous boss, still has "the power" over me, so blog I will. My old office staff is having their annual Halloween bash today and I am sad to miss all the excitement and hoopla. "Pirates" is the theme this year....aargh! Apparently we will be celebrating Halloween here in the compound, as well. Kristi and a few of her friends will be making their rounds for treats tonight. We were kicking the soccer ball around last night in front of the villa when a young girl stopped and asked Kristi how she was doing. Kristi responded and was then informed by the teen, "I want to be your friend" in somewhat labored English. The girl, "Roa" told Kristi that she needs an American friend to practice her English and as it goes, Kristi is the one for the job. Maybe Roa can help Kristi with her Arabic, as she is from Iraq. Anyway, Roa invited Kristi to go out trick or treating, so Kristi accepted & has enlisted a few of her own friends so that Roa will get lots of practice in. Let's see what else...the compound is getting us new living room furniture. We had a choice of two sets, fortunately for us we did like one of them. The colors are nice & neutral so maybe it will go with our orange & green drapes. HaHa. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. Not the best colors to decorate around, so we will do what we do best over here in Qatar....make do. What else is gong on....how about Doha's Olympic bid for 2016. That seems to be really big news around here. There was a huge celebration on the Corniche last Thursday with fireworks and entertainment to kickoff the bid. I'm not sure how desert heat and athletes mix, but we shall see. We'll find out if we made the shortlist in June, 2008. Please note, these are pirated pics (in honor of the JGA party happening now) and not pics taken by me. My photographer status is falling, but we will see if we can remedy that this weekend. We may be going to the Inland Sea for some venturing. Another blog about nothing...help me out guys. What is it that you are curious about? Don't be shy, speak up!


Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy "20th" Birthday, Kayla!

Have a great day...we love you!

****new pic just in via Kayla's cell phone. We'll call it her official birthday pic. Looks like her & Dustin are holding Fort Knox down just fine.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom,
JoAnn, Joan, & JoJo!!!!

Don't shoot me...it's the only picture I had access to on this computer! We love you! Try this for the pics you asked me about. I promised I wouldn't say the "L" word again. :)

Quick update: Kristi made the traveling team for soccer. They (and we!) will be traveling to Abu Dhabi in the middle of November for their International tournament. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Dubai would be the more well know city in the UAE, but we'll be glad to settle. Kayla will be visiting for Thanksgiving during that time, so she will get to join us. Way to go, Kristi...thanks for giving us another travel opportunity!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Enough Already!

I know what you're saying, "Enough already about London!". I promise this is the last mention. Just posting a final link to our London Photo Album for any picture junkies out there. I won't mention any names, you know who you are. And to answer Susieq30's (Regina) question about how close...pull out your atlas and see just how big this country is. ANYWHERE is too close. What's really funny is that if we lived in the states, the misfired patriot missile would be headlines everywhere. The lawyers would be lining up. It's back page news over here. Ciao.

See if this will work for you, Regina.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Duck & Cover

And we thought we only had to worry about the crazy drivers over here! Click here for the rest of the story. Have a good one :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Peek of London

I think I left off at us going to see the musical "Chicago". Omg...definitely a two thumbs up experience. I've always said that I didn't like musicals. Wrong. I absolutely loved it. It was awesomely entertaining. Kelly Osborne was in it...Ozzie's daughter for you oldies. She is definitely not a stage actress, but her singing was wonderful. The main characters were great and kept me at attention the whole time. I'm looking forward to my next opportunity to be able to take in a show. Sunday morning we had to make a difficult choice...Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace or Mass at Westminster Cathedral. The Guards won out I'm ashamed to say, so we were off to the palace. Too many people, too long and just not enough to keep me entertained. After all, I did see "Chicago" the night before. The bottom line is, I guess, that you can't go to London without having the guard changing on your agenda. Now we can say that we've done it, never having to be done again. After that we headed towards Tower bridge. On the way we saw St Paul's Cathedral where Diana and Charles were married. It's beautiful and massive. We didn't get to stop, but it's on our to do list for next time (I'm keeping my fingers crossed). The pic on the right is for Kellie...anything catch your eye, Kel?? David and I took this pic just for you. Anyway, forging onward to Tower Bridge. Wow, that's about all I can say. Everything here is just like the pictures, only more impressive in person. You just can't capture the feelings of the things you see here on paper. It's just unbelievable. It's a wonderful city with something on every corner that has history. One of the newer things, though, is the London Eye that I opted out on (being the chicken that I am). I have never been one for heights and rather preferred to keep my rather expensive English lunch down. David and Kristi told me afterwards that I could have handled the situation, so that adds yet another thing on my to do list for next time. I guess we'll just have to bite the bullet and go again, one day. Okay, I've been droning on about this trip, and I think you all have gotten it all figured out...it was wonderful. Thanks for letting me share!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


We love you!!

Dad, Mom, Shea, Dustin & Kayla

Saturday, October 13, 2007

London 101

London in a whirl...that's the name of this tour. You can see a whole lot in this town in a short amount of time. Walking is definitely the name of the game. We saw Westminster Abbey, Parliament Square, Big Ben, Westminster Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, and Picadilly Circus just to name what I can think of off the top of my head. Westminster Cathedral was hands down my favorite. We're going to try to go to mass there tomorrow morning. It's overwhelmingly beautiful. Of course, everything here is architecturally magnificent. The hustle & bustle of the city adds to the excitement and fun here. We're taking a much needed break at the moment to get ready for our trip to the theatre tonight. I've posted a sampling of pictures from today's outing. Check y'all later.

London pics 1

London pics 2

Friday, October 12, 2007

Arrived Alive in London

Reporting to you live from The Crown Moran Hotel lobby in London. We arrived at the airport around 1:15pm and had a taxi waiting to take us to the hotel. The driver was a colorful character giving us the ins & outs of touring London for us first timers. We arrived at the hotel around 3:00, checked in, grabbed a sweater & hit the pavement for a tour of the neighborhood around our hotel. Our hotel is not in central London as we would have liked, but the area has lots of character and is very multicultural...sort of like Qatar (haha), only a lot greener, and about 40 degrees cooler. For London, the weather is quite pleasant today with a light overcast and temps in the low 60's. No umbrellas in the forecast for this weekend, but we'll keep our fingers crossed for good measure. Tomorrow we'll take the tube (underground rail) into central London for our first real London experience. We don't have a concrete agenda, just winging it. That's a little scary. We do have theater tickets to "Chicago" for tomorrow night. I've only ever seen one musical and that was "Caroussel" in Pulaski, Tennessee.
We'll have to see how the London theater holds up to that experience
:) . The one rumor that we have confirmed is that it is very expensive here. The U.S. dollar only goes half as far. Kristi & I are going to have to send David back to work. Let me get out of here and avoid boring you to death with all the gory details of our day. I'll try to keep y'all posted as time and brain power permits.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Off to London

We're off to London early in the morning. This will be our first time in Europe, or just about anywhere for that matter. We're just sort of winging it. Nothing at all is planned, except for the taxi that's taking us from the airport to our hotel. We're staying at the Crown Moran if someone needs to reach us in an emergency...God, please forbid. As we prepare for our journey, I'll leave you with a story that I received via email this morning about Johnny the Bagger. I think it's well worth passing along. Thanks for the inspiration, Aunt Linda. Give Molly a hug for us.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Hurry up and wait

Let's see, where to begin? Remember me mentioning not leaving the Post Office without my residence permit. Well, I lied. I'm not sure where I left off on that story, but when I made my 3rd trip (all numbered tickets had already been given out on my first two visits) I was successful and got to "pick a number". Yea, #10!! After waiting an hour, #10 started flashing on the screen...my turn. I presented my paperwork, photos, passport, etc & was asked where my sponsor was, because he had not signed the application. Yes, I had forgotten to get David to sign it and I had been told to do so. Unfreakin' believable (pardon my French). So on Monday night while the Texans were actually being shown live here in Qatar, David & I were parked at the Post Office from 7:45pm to 10:45pm. I was the 23rd person in line, the last person to be issued a number. There were probably 30 people behind me that got sent home. The good news was that I actually left the there with my permit attached in my passport, the bad news, my international driver's license is invalid four days after issuance of residence permit. So, it's off to the driver's license bureau in the morning. Oh my, I felt like I was in a 3rd world country...Tiajuana comes to mind. You slip the guy a few Riyals in this little seedy office and he types up your license application for you in the required Arabic. Remember the old Royal MANUAL typewriters. Yep, that's what he was using. I'm exaggerating about the brand, but not about the one finger pecking manual part. After that was done, we were ushered to a room that had several hundred people in it already...you guessed it, pick a number. After three hours of waiting, the agent looks over my paperwork and tells me to go get our eyes examined. Fine and dandy, but they closed that department at noon as everything else does during Ramadan. Come back tomorrow. Okay, well that's today. Rise & shine and out the door at 7:30am. It's our lucky day, we (me & Kim, another Chevron wife) are women and we get to bypass the 200 or so men that are already in line to get their eyes tested. Don't ask why, I have no idea. Now, it's back downstairs to pick a number. After three hours of waiting there, my turn, again. I'm told by the agent that my eye test results have not been entered into the computer, therefore I must go back to that office and tell them to enter it. Can you say, "telephone". Being the obedient expatriate that I am, I go back upstairs only to find that the doors have been locked. I banged on the doors and the guard hollers through the glass that I have to come back this afternoon. Obedience out the window. "Excuse me sir, I have been here all morning and I am not leaving!" The good thing about the people over here is that they truly do not like confrontation and he definitely felt one coming on and promptly open the door for me. Not missing a beat I made it back through the maze to the eye test area. As usual, scores of men were standing outside that office, packed in like sardines. I've waited in all the lines that I'm going to today. "Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, excuse me", I was saying as everyone parted like the Red Sea. I marched & I mean marched to the front of the line to get this squared away. The technician, in broken English, mentioned something about me coming back tomorrow. HOMEY DON'T THINK SO were the words bouncing in my head & obviously emanating from my expression. Long, long story made short, I walked out of there with my Qatari driver's license in hand shortly after noon. Only in Qatar.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Ramadan is coming to a Royal End

Ramadan is coming to a close at the end of this week and will be celebrated by the Eid Al Fitr holidays all over the Muslim world. Everyone & their brothers will be leaving the country come this weekend to begin their celebrations. So as the saying goes, when in Rome …oops I misspoke, I meant to say London. I can’t sneak anything past you guys. Yes, we’re off to London early Friday morning for a quick 4 night/5 day mini vacation! David & I spent the morning at the Qatar Airways Holidays office working on getting something scheduled on short notice, while Kristi was slaving away at her SAT. Kristi & I have been in the process of getting our residence permits & we weren’t sure if we’d have them in time to travel. Rumor has it that once you start the process, you can’t leave the country or you have to start it over, including the medical portion which was a royal pain. Did I say royal as in “England”? I’m sorry, I just can’t contain myself. Anyway, our permits are not in our hands yet, but tomorrow morning I will be at the post office (pic on left) hopefully handling the last stage of getting them. I should/better have the permits before I leave that place. Kristi doesn’t even know that we’ve taken care of the arrangements. I’m just going to sit back & see how long the news takes to get back to her. I’m counting on Kayla to inform her. She’s been pretty loyal at tuning in on the escapades happening on this side of the planet. We did go to the Great Wall of China last night…the restaurant, that is. The food was great, and even better, it was cheap. After that we did a little shopping at a store called Oriental Carpet. Wow, do you know how much Persian rugs cost? After discovering the answer to that question, we moved on over to the trinket section. They really had some neat things. We stayed there way past David’s tolerance level, so we made him happy with a Dunkin’ Donuts/coffee run. I mean, seriously, you’re never very far away from home over in this country. When you feel a little nostalgic, you can always get your fix at one of so many American venues. I mean, look at the pic below, that would feel like home, if Applebees would only deliver there! I have to be honest with you, though, I haven’t experienced any of that (nostalgia). I’m still soaking
up the uniqueness of this

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Traditional Asian Restaurant Review

Just thought I'd report back on our Tuesday night restaurant outing (for the lack of anything else to talk about). We ate a small cafe called "Traditional Asian Restaurant" located in a strip mall not far from our villa. Not much thought in the naming of the place, but the food was wonderful and the decor was modern and bright...just a really "fun" atmosphere. And as always, the Asian service was impeccable, down to the "excuse me, madame, while I put your napkin in your lap". By all means, spoil me rotten, please. The menu consisted of Thai, Chinese, and Filipino fare. Kristi & I went the safe route and got Shrimp Tempura and Sweet & Sour Chicken. Of course, the portions were huge, but somehow we managed not to save any to bring home. David opted for Chili Prawn, which was spicy, but quite tasty. There wasn't a grain of fried rice or anything else for that matter on our table by the time we were done. We topped it off with our waitress' suggestion of her favorite dessert of "Purple Yam". As she set it down in front of us, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to have seen our faces. Probably one of the most unappetizing desserts I've ever encountered was staring back at us.... a square purple blob with a hint of a yellow smear on top. The three of us reluctantly picked up our forks and scooped out a very small portion of the blob. Hmmm, not bad...maybe even edible...hey, this stuff is pretty good. With a great sigh of relief, we licked the platter clean. We quizzed the waitress on what it was made of (afterwards, of course, just in case!) and she said, "violet sweet potatoes, milk, and sugar". I'm sorry that I didn't get a pic of it, but I did find a dessert on the internet with purple yam in it...just click on purple blob above. Our dessert was more like a hunk of purple mud, not so much in the cake format as in the picture. We left with happy hearts and full bellies. Sybil Knox reporting from Doha.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Camel fun

Today I gathered with other Chevron Phillips wives & decorated camels. What an experience. The gaudier, the better seemed to be the theme of the event. Note my camel in the pic. It was very mild compared to everyone else's. It was the step camel of the flock you might even say. The ladies had so many awesome trinkets & wares to display on their camels that I couldn't even compete. I would have to say that they definitely had done this before. For being a first timer, I think I did okay. It sort of brought me back to the days of making homecoming corsages. Hot glue & scraps everywhere. We probably had ten or twelve women working diligently on the project. No comments, please, about me in the pic. I wasn't prepared for the photo op. I'm just trying to share the event with you, so be nice! Apparently, these women have lots of social gatherings to pick & choose from. They do quilting classes, card games, & more. I don't think I'll be able to keep up with them. I came out here for permanent vacation, not to work myself to death. Just kidding...I'm sure I'll be in the middle of all of it before it's over with. I better get, it's go out & discover a new restaurant night (not officially, but is sounds good) . Not hard to do in this town. We could eat out every night for the rest of the year & not put in a dent in the eating places around here. But you know us, we'll give it our best shot. Good day!