Our five year adventure in Doha, Qatarended 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!
Monday, February 25, 2008
This weekend, I took Kristi and company to see the semifinals and finals of the Qatar Total Open tennis tournament. It was a lot of fun and best of all, it was free. All you have to do to get tickets is show up the morning of the event you want to attend and collect them. Fair enough. On Saturday I took Kristi and her friend Stephanie to see the semifinals. Maria Sharapova vs Agneiszka Radwanska. Easy for me to say. After entering the gate we saw a booth set up that had hundreds of people waiting in line for something. It must have been the questioning look on my face that made the Muslim woman manning the booth beckon me. Being the astute lip reader that I am (we were about 75 feet away), she was saying "Come, come". Looking all around me to see who she was talking to, I saw no one else was in sight. I hesitantly moved a little towards her, and she again motioned for me to "come". The girls were a bit embarrassed and wouldn't come with me. I went on up using all my inner strength to ignore the fact that there were hundreds of people in line. For all my rudeness, she handed me a golf t-shirt, cap, and pen promoting the 2016 Doha Olympics bid that is currently in progress. Of course, the girls jumped on the band wagon and snagged their goods, as well. A perfect example of the "caste system" that's rampant in this country. Kristi was astounded that the woman had just done this (of course, I was too), but I just repeated what I've repeated all those years to the kids, "life isn't fair, get over it". It just leaned in our direction this time. Sharapova prevailed and we went back to the finals on Sunday with a few more friends in tow. I gathered Kim and Karen, Chevron Phillips wives from the Houston area, and picked Kristi and her friends up after school and headed to Khalifa International Tennis Stadium for the main event. It was a great competition with Russian against Russian in the finals. Maria Sharapova pulled off the win and collected her $441,000 check and the keys to a Harley that she proudly posed on for photographers. Many dignitaries were in attendance, as we literally witnessed "the red carpet" being rolled out for them. The Qatar chapter of Harley riders were also proudly strutting their stuff by circling the arena on their bikes. Side note: Al Jazeera is alive and well in Doha, as you can see them reporting live.The video is just a sample of what we heard all evening. I'm not so sure that Sharapova could win without the "whoooo factor"!
P.S. And, of course, the real news of the weekend is that David is also alive and well in Doha as he arrived last night while we were at the tournament. Welcome back, sweetie.