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!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

NBC Turns Away Life Message

Superbowl Ad rejected by NBC (read Washington Times article)













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Friday, January 30, 2009

No Strangers Here



Today, I'm going to let my mentor blogger, Gina, take on the task of posting. Nearly two years ago, I started peaking into Gina's Doha life without her even knowing it. I read her blog religiously to learn about Doha, knowing that we were destined to join the adventure. I lived here a full year before meeting Gina, but when I finally did, she wasn't a new acquaintance. She was already an old friend. It's nice to connect with people on that level. If you are reading this and we have never met, hopefully, you feel the same way. Whew, I was almost getting sentimental there for a second. On with Gina's post entitled "Excuse me, Sir!". Click & enjoy.


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Thursday, January 29, 2009

What Is Normal?




Oh, if I could only take you with me on my daily, well, every other day, ok, whenever the hell I feel like it walks through the compound. As I was walking this morning taking in the fresh 71 degree weather, noting how pretty the flowers are, watching the pigeons bathe in the leftover car wash water, greeting the ever smiling workers, and acknowledging other walkers and bicyclers along the way, it hit me. Some of these "normal" daily sights weren't so normal just a little over a year ago. Like, the worker balancing an extension ladder on his shoulders while riding a bycycle. Then there's the gardener in his yellow jumpsuit, red checkered scarf around his neck and head, with his tanned, aging, weathered face wielding a curved knife everywhere he goes or the flat bed truck loaded with villa furniture with just as much hanging off as it has on the bed looking like the Clampetts have arrived in Doha. Who needs lawnmowers when weed eaters will do the job. Or how 'bout sweeping the streets with palm fronds. Don't you do that? Then there's the guard out front with his AK-47 strapped over his shoulder while wearing his flip flops. I dream of getting his picture, but I'm afraid he'd have to shoot me afterwards. I know there are more things that I could mention, but now I'm not sure about what's normal and what's not.
These pics were in my "archives". I didn't actually bring my camera on my walk. I'm not that brave as I do try to be a little discreet, believe it or not. I guess the guy in the pic couldn't handle the ladder and the two propane bottles on a two wheeler.



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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Maya La Chocolaterie



Well, we've been passing it for months waiting for it to open. Maya La Chocolaterie finally opened its doors at Landmark Mall Monday at 5:00pm. We skipped the invitation via text message to the grand opening, but dropped by yesterday to check it out. A shop that is dedicated to chocolate and coffee...can it get any better? There were vats of spinning liquid chocolate and white chocolate on display that had pipes running from the vats to the spigots where the sauces were dispensed. I don't know if they were truly functional or just for looks. When I perused the menu, I knew there was no doubt that David would order the chocolate cheesecake with chocolate sauce. Add two skinny lattes to that and now our dessert has cost us more than the meal we just had at Friday's. The cake was pretty minuscule, but it packed a punch in creamy richness and was evilly delicious. It's a good thing we got those lattes "skinny". Sorry, I forgot to get a pic. That thought went right out the window when the waitress set that bowl of chocolate sauce next to the cheesecake!The ladies next to us had this huge fondue pot of chocolate sauce and what looked to be brownies that they were dipping in it. There was definitely no "savor the flavor" (as we like to call it) going on at that table. They were putting it away as fast as they could get it on their forks. We laughed and decided that it wasn't their first rodeo. Bottom line: As much as I enjoyed it and as good as it was, just give me another buffalo chicken taco instead.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Under Pressure



So, it's a slow news day. No car left for me to go out and hustle up an adventure for you. I'll have to rely on whatever quirk I can find here around the villa. Ha, that shouldn't be too hard. Hmm, this is a little bit different. I thought it was just par for the course, but after talking with some of the ladies at tea about it one day, none of them had experienced such a thing. I mean, it wasn't totally weird, just something that I do without thinking about any more. When Dustin arrived for the holidays and discovered what we were doing, he was not happy with our solution to the problem. His eco friendly ways were screaming something about wasting way too much water. Hey, you learn to improvise, whatever it takes. I'll just share with you our multi daily ordeal we go through on video. Listen carefully, you may hear it better than you can see it. I usually don't play songs when I post videos, but the song was so apropos*. So, stop the music and start the movie :)

video


*Humor me. I'm just working on Kayla's vocabulary...oh,hey sweetie!


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Monday, January 26, 2009

Al Khor Air Show



David and I drove out to Al Khor Saturday morning after our nearly two hour leisurely breakfast at American Grill. Our mission was the open air flying show on tap. On the way to our destination we noticed some off road car racing going on in the desert. We could see that something was brewing from the distance because of the random plumes of sand flying in the air. It was a pretty awesome sight, little hot wheel car look a likes flying over bumps and rough desert kicking up all kinds of sand. There was no vantage point for me to get any pics from the direction we were traveling, so that will be for another day, another adventure. The air show, consisted of displays of privately owned planes, remote control planes, and other "flying objects" that I had never witnessed. It was quite a family event as you can see the gentleman in the picture with nine kids in tow. There wasn't a whole lot of flying going on while we there, but David mentioned that the winds that day were particularly high and would affect the capabilities of, or rather the safety of taking the planes up. Other than the winds, the weather was beautiful and it was fortunate that the air show was on Saturday, since Qatar experienced one its rare rainy days of the year the day before. It was a nice "get out of the house" event and we thank RasGas for sponsoring it!



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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Restaurant Review: American Grill


Restaurant review time, yippee! David and I visited the "American Grill" Friday night in Doha's Somerset West Bay Towers, We were taking a chance by forgoing our tried and true weekend hangouts of TGI Fridays and Bennigans. Would we survive? It seemed a little tricky to get to, but once we found it we wondered why we made all those extra turns. We were pleasantly surprised to find that it had an outdoor entrance, which meant no trekking through lobbies and hallways looking for the restaurant. Upon entering, I eyeballed my kind of atmosphere, open and airy, with simple wood furnishings and wood floors. We were immediately greeted, ( hey, so far so good!) and shown to a table of our liking and handed the menus. The moment of truth. What kind of food and what were the prices going to be? I'm always a little skeptical about hotel restaurants. From the looks of the menu, it truly was an American grill. Hamburgers, quesadillas, philly steaks, and chili. just to name a few items that were included. What was missing? Iced tea! David lives for his iced tea, and if you're not at an American restaurant, you're not likely to find it. And if by chance they do have it, it's an impostor...tea with lemon poured from a can. Yuck. Ok, Dave, let's get beyond the tea issue. Pepsi, it is. Being that we're stuck on buffalo chicken these days, he got the Buffalo Chicken Lawash (wrap) and I got the Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas. Our food was fresh and tasty enough, but nothing to write home about (even though I am...geez). Now, the dessert was another matter. The ice cream and whipped cream over devil's food cake with chocolate sauce brought me back to my mom's kitchen and her homemade devil's food cake. Now, Betty Crocker might have helped, but no one else could make it like mom. We came to the conclusion that the American Grill was a "do over". In fact, we went the next morning for breakfast. Something at that place was calling our names! Could it have been the buffet breakfast, including UNLIMITED American coffee for 35QR (under $10). That beats out Ric's Country Cafe any day of the week. We tried it, we liked it, and we will be back.







Nice hand modeling, Dave!


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Saturday, January 24, 2009

10,000 Visits!




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Friday, January 23, 2009

Mom's "Hatty" Birthday


When I last spoke to mom, her last words were, "And don't you dare put that picture of me in that hat" on your blog. At the time, I didn't even know what she was talking about, but alas, it arrived in my email this morning from Kayla (thanks, dear. I owe you!). Does mom seriously think that I wouldn't post this day in history that her 82nd birthday presented? Looks like she traded in her rice hat for a sombrero, which by the way, nearly doubles her four foot ten inch frame and growing shorter every day. The celebration was at Casa Ole feasting on Tex Mex food that Texas is so famous for, in my book, anyway. Try finding that in Doha. For some reason it hasn't caught on here, but a girl can dream. Oh, and add IHOP to my Doha wish list. Anyway, Mom, I'm so glad you were able to have fun on your birthday, even though your favorite daughter couldn't be there to help you with the festivities. Maybel next time...Syb

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Pearl Video


I ran across this short Youtube on our local forum, Qatar Living, yesterday. It shares a little information about Qatar, along with some nice views of The Pearl, the man made island currently under construction just a few minutes from our villa. Note the local wearing his sunglasses in the classroom shot. Could it be Erik Estrada in a thobe? That's what caught my eye when first arriving in Doha. Apparently, it's very cool to wear your "CHIPS" shades indoors. Ok, so that has absolutely nothing to do with the video. You know that staying on topic is not my forte.




Email follow up re: Doha, The City of No Worries

Yes, Miss Lori of JGA, not only would we be held for ransom or arrested, we would have been humiliated and shamed until the cows came home! Worse yet, our faces might start appearing on milk cartons!


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