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!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Jetting to Tennessee

We're winding down the first leg of our Texas tour and jetting on to Tennessee tomorrow morning. Yesterday, we finalized our Port Arthur area visit by joining David's sister (Nisie) and husband (Steve) at Cafe Del Rio Mexican Restaurant (delicioso!) for one last Tex-Mex meal (until next time, anyway). As you can see, I couldn't resist to experience what it would like to be tall. I felt like a giant walking through the "for the children" door and then felt like an idiot when I banged my head on the frame. Short works. Anyway, you guys hold the fort down in Texas while we venture into even cooler grounds. The forecast low temp for this Friday in the Nashville area is 25F (or -4c for my friends on the other side of the ocean) compared to the 68F low that Doha is posting. (This is what we call winter, Naz!) Adios Amigos...see y'all in Tennessee!

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Big Fat Thanks

Fat and happy is how the saying goes, and that we are. We had a great Thanksgiving meal and aftermeal that would have appeased the pickiest of appetites. It was a good time, but I'm glad to slow down a bit on those leftovers and desserts. Hopefully we all render our thanks more than once a year, but I am so thankful that there is only one official holiday. If I kept up at this pace, I wouldn't be able to get into my belly dancing outfit. Somehow though, between all the turkey trimmings, we've managed to make two trips to our favorite local Tex-Mex food hangout, Casa Ole. We'll wrap up this leg of our eating tour tomorrow after a birthday visit with my dad. We'll head back to Kyle for a day and then it's Tennessee bound to visit with David's family. I've really had a hankering for my father-in-law's vegetable soup. I somehow missed out on it this past summer. I know it was hot, but we could have cranked up the air, Bill. Please, don't make me beg this visit (but, I will if I have to).

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Heading East

In three and a half days in the Austin area we've managed to:

1. Eat breakfast at Cracker Barrel twice :)
2. Ride to Wimberley, Tx to have breakfast on the square
3. Have Mexican food at El Gallo in Austin
4. Eat at Olive Garden to celebrate Dustin's 25th birthday
5. Repair my car which was making a roaring horrible noise on arrival. Power steering fluid is amazing stuff.
6. Wash away a year of road grime and sap from my car.
7. Have a shopping spree at Kohl's. I love that place.
8. Eat at Texas Roadhouse. Can I get a big Yeehaw?
9. Work on Kristi's car, but no magic fluids to fix it. Another day.
10. Make a quiche! One meal at home...not bad.

You people just thought I loved to eat in Doha. It's a total restaurant tour upon touchdown in Texas. We'll be moving on east this afternoon to my brother's (David) in Katy. Tomorrow afternoon we'll head to Port Arthur to visit with more family and friends. A little Luby's Thanksgiving catering will be in order for our turkey day celebration. Add to that a few traditional family favorites and we'll be good to go. It's been a heavenly visit in Kyle, but we're looking forward to that gathering at Mark's (another brother) in (the) Groves. Let the travels continue. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

T for Texas

We have arrived! That was two days ago, but better late than never I guess. That's Kayla's motto, anyway, as she was forty five minutes late picking us up at the airport. After seventeen hours in flight, who's counting anyway. How does that saying go? "I don't get mad, I get even." I'm sure she won't mind hanging with the thousand or so men milling around Doha's airport. No one will notice her lily white skin or the fact that she's female. Just kidding, K, I wouldn't do that to you (or would I?). Anyway, our flight was pretty uneventful. We're not used to flying by day, so we did get some nice pictures of the glaciers of Greenland and the rocky barren terrain of Iran. No jet lag allowed. We were up and running early Saturday morning...off to Cracker Barrel for bacon, ham, and eggs. Gotta get that pork in while we can. It was misty and cool pretty much all day. Aah, perfect Texas weather. You will be able to find us chillin' here in the Austin area visiting the kids for a few more days (or until we can't afford them anymore). After that, we will be heading down to our stomping ground in the Beaumont/Port Arthur area. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the clan. Later!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Texas Bound, I Think

Just getting the last minute details ironed out before our trek home in the morning. You know, checking the Facebook, thinking about packing, seeing what's going on in the twitosphere, thinking about packing, and most importantly, figuring out what David and I are going to eat tonight. It will have to be delivery since I dropped the car this morning to be be serviced while we are gone. The other worry is making sure that we do have a ride from Houston to Austin. We shall see who's happy face shows at the airport. Rumor has it that it will be Kayla, but the kids are probably drawing straws at this very moment. I hope our happy faces show up, as well. I've been trying to do the online check in with Qatar Airways since last night, but have not been successful. It did make alarm bells go off when I hit enter and a big "Warning!" flashed on the screen. Surely this is just a small technical problem and nothing at all to worry about. Surely. Even though I'm just thinking about packing, I did prepare by catching up on the wash today. My still nameless* little kitty was a great help.

*We just can't seem to settle on one name, but we have been calling her:

Hey You

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What's for Din Din?

The phone call went sort of like this:

"Sybil, can you make a quiche for the brunch?"

Raucous laughter with inaudible words and then, "Come, again, I thought you asked me to make a quiche?"

Yes?? I did.

Again, loud laughter followed by, "Are you kidding me?! I can call Bateel and order one."

Well, two years later, baby, I have arrived. Thanks, Patrizi! Yesterday while at work (loose term), Sherry excused herself to go prepare lunch and hollered out as she headed to the kitchen, "It's going to be awesome". I had no doubt and looked forward to the moment. When the lunch bell rang and I arrived in the kitchen, there was this beautiful masterpiece of a spinach quiche that she had just whipped up. In my house, the food only has to look good, so it's definitely passed that mile marker. After that, you're on your own. It was absolutely amazingly beautiful and delicious. Wow, one can achieve both! I can do this, I told myself. Sherry even gave me my starter piece, the crust, to launch my endeavor. I stopped at Carrefour for a tart pan and some ingredients and whistled all the way home. When David answered the call for dinner, he was taken by surprise at something different on the menu. He sat down and said, "Wow, you're not taking pictures?!" I embarrassingly had to admit that I already had. You can say it, I have no shame. I'm also proud to admit that it rivaled Sherry's dish. So, give me a call Ms. McCamey. Did you say you needed a quiche?

Ok so Sherry's did photograph way better than mine. Her house is a freakin' testament to her artistic photo genius, so the presentation was unmatchable. Plus, I did get a little trigger happy with the cheese and the goodies didn't show as well.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Much Ado About Nothing

I could talk about my 25QR ($6.75) coffee press today that I purchased. I mean I think I could fill a page about how fun it is to load this old timey contraption up with hot water and ground coffee and wait the three minutes for that exhilarating moment when I get to push the plunger down for a perfectly brewed mug of joe. On second thought, who really cares. So, then I thought, well maybe I could talk about how a couple at a local mall here in Doha who were caught sharing a kiss and feeding each other and consequently sentenced to a year in prison, but what's new about that? Or, there's the "tree" encounter I had with my workers yesterday. I heard the chainsaws buzzing early yesterday and knew that trouble was in the air. My tiny front yard has turned into a jungle of late waiting for the village people to roll around and take care butcher it. I caught them in time, but between me, the gardener and the stand in interpreter, I was definitely losing the argument against the cube transformation that was soon to take place on my tree. Nothing else to do, but throw my hands in the air and give in. It's not like it was my first time to lose that battle. So, here we are another day with so much to say, but nothing to talk about. Does anyone really listen to me, anyway? Gotta get. It's time to make the donuts.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Winter, You Say?

Winter, Winter, Winter...

This is a quote by fellow Doha Tweeter, Naz. Well, it seems that Naz is a bit "jazzed" by the relief in heat and has jumped ship from the blazing summer to insinuate that winter is here. Come on Naz, I just got in from grocery shopping and it was 86F out there. Hardly what I'd call winter. But, then again, what I'd call winter in Southeast Texas is probably also a joke to what fellow Tweeter, Meredith, who hails from "Oh, Canada" would call winter. I guess it is truly all relevant. I will admit there has been a bit of welcomed heat relief this past week, but I haven't seen a report in The Peninsula, yet (I know it's coming, though!), telling us to break out our "woolies". Just for the record, no one in Doha should own anything remotely kin to wool. Trust me on this one. To the contrary though, the second the thermometer dips into the 60's, the woolies will appear along with furry hats and big clunky coats. I'll pass. Somehow those items just get in the way while laying by the pool.

23c = 73.4f

Thanks for providing my post material, Naz. Now, please don't block me for it!

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Post Game Talk

The much anticpitated big game has come and gone. Brazil vs England for Qatar was to be a preview of how this small unknown nation could potentially host a world class act such as the World Cup for which they are bidding to host in 2022. Rest assured after last night's game, their "readiness" will be hashed out in many blogs and news articles to come. What's my take? Well, you know me, the junior cheerleader for this tiny country hates to say anything negative, but when you run out of food, you're toast in my book. Gridlock parking at the game's end? Expected. No food and water? Unacceptable. David and I made a dash at halftime to the concession area to grab a bite. After all, it was 9:00pm, and we hadn't eaten since lunch. We noted that the crowd at the Hardee's counter was dispersing quickly and we could the hear the echoes of "khalas" flowing through the air. Khalas? Finished? No way. Yes, way. Same thing at KFC, Wataniya, and yes, Krispy Kreme (which, as a last resort, I would have settled for!). One last minute reprieve was in order when I saw an employee with a box in hand. I shoved David in his direction, so he muscled his way through the ensuing crowd. A box of chicken sandwiches had arrived from heaven and I didn't care what the price was. I'm not one that you'd ever catch going on a hunger strike. Crisis averted. Oh, I'm sure there were other things that didn't quite go right, but those I can overlook. Food shortages, I cannot. No doubt the powers that be are at the drawing board this very moment to determine what went right and what went wrong. Let's just hope they can pony up and admit what did go wrong and proceed from there. Do note that plenty did go right. The festival atmosphere before kickoff made for a nice, but low key evening. Remember, there's no imbibing in Doha which explained the unusually quiet soccer fans that otherwise would be insanely out of control. I do wish Qatar the best of luck on their 2022 World Cupl bid.

Noteworthy or Not:

There were warnings in various news articles advising "UK hooligans" to keep their shirts on when in Doha. No problem for this fan, "I'll just wear my naked chick shirt".

This gentleman opted for a skirt. Please, don't remove that either!

The dude seated next to me opted for pink socks. His "lucky" ones, maybe?

No misbehavin' at this game. Instead we had fans tossing thousands of glow sticks from the stands during the pregame show. Number of eyes put out due to the pummeling is unknown at this time.

Are you this big, Dave?

Was this double fisted texter the cause of the parking lot gridlock after the game?

Yeah, there was a game with players and everything. Maybe I'll add some pics of that later :)

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