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!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I'm a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. When David and I delayed our trip home I thought it was just to make the pace more relaxed while returning back to Doha. We were scheduled to take a five hour train ride and then race to the airport via subway and more trains, then board another six hour flight to Doha. A very long day, indeed, so we opted to spread it out a bit by just taking the train ride on Thursday and spend the night in Vienna before flying out on Friday. All was good with that except for the fact that our credit card company, CAPITAL ONE, cut off our credit while trying to purchase train tickets due to "possible" fraudulent activity. I'm not even going to touch that one right now as I unloaded on them last night after arriving home. Fortunately between us, we came up with exactly 100 euros cash to pay for the 97 euro ride. Anyway, back to "the reason". Upon boarding the train in Innsbruck, we found it to be quite crowded but were able to squeeze ourselves into a car that already had three people in it. They obligingly rearranged their carry ons to accommodate our massive luggage. One of the riders was a handsome young man absorbed in his music as we rolled down the tracks. After a while he removed his headphones and asked, "Are you from America?" We proudly said yes, and reciprocated by asking if he was Austrian. Indeed he was, and we told him how we loved his country. He asked why and our answers were, "everything". The mountains, the lakes, the scenery, the cleanliness, the people....the list went on and on. I asked him if he skied, he smiled and said "everyone in Austria skis, it's what we do". David asked if he skied competitively and he modestly answered yes. I thought maybe he misunderstood and just meant that he was good at it and the conversation moved along with the realization coming to me. I asked, "wait a minute, all you do is ski?". He said, "I could make a living just doing that". My immediate response was, "Are you famous?". He laughed lightly and said "no" and then begrudgingly mentioned that he had a gold and silver medal as a ski jumper that he had won at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. I was instantly turned to a teenager with a summer crush. "Oh my gosh, you ARE famous, can I take your picture?". After much conversation, we found that Andreas was not just an accomplished skier, but a well rounded young man with a good handle on life who just happens to love the 1965 Ford Mustang. He's a smart young man that knows he's just one jump away from a career ending injury so he is also attending school to become one of Austria's "polizei" force. Balance is his motto...the motto that I've preached to the kids over the years. I will be looking for my new found friend, Andreas Kofler, at the February, 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. I've already added the reminder to my AOL calendar to remind me, lest I forget. Good luck to you, Andreas! We'll be looking for you to win some more medals for your countrymen. As we say in America, "Break a Leg"!
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