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!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oh, The Crystal Chandeliers

Here's a party tent in the making that we recently spotted. It's not an unusual Doha sighting by any means, but this one caught my eye when I saw something shiny flash. Are those chandeliers? Yes, indeedy, my friends. No cutting corners here. Whatever happened to Coleman lanterns or dangling light bulbs?

These crystal contraptions seem to be standard fare in Qatar. I thought it was a bit over the top when we moved into our villa and saw chandeliers* hanging in the bedrooms, but in tents?! No telling what will adorn the inner tent flaps once it is completed.

*I see that I need to get the village villa people in here to change out some bulbs. As I went through the bedrooms to snap a pic, this one had the least amount out! (Said, embarrassingly.)

Crystal Chandelier ~ Charlie Pride

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So, How Hot is Qatar?

Hot enough, I say! The proof is in the pudding, er, or in the

cookie as in this case...

I found a good use for Qatar's blazing desert sun. I ran across a recipe for car bake cookies a while back and thought, sounds like a blog. I cannot tell a lie. So, I sacrificed my day with the car to put the recipe to the test. Here's how it went...

First, I had to preheat the "oven", so I parked the Tahoe out on the road facing the afternoon to evening sun.

I gathered my ingredients and recipe and made sure my moral support
watched from afar. I mixed all the ingredients according to the directions (sort of, remember I'm a control freak so I did it how I wanted to)

I put the cookie trays in the oven and went about my business and oh, just about three hours later...


Results: Slightly crispy on the outside and just a little gooey on the inside. In other words, perfect! Put on a pot of coffee and enjoy.

Click here for original recipe
from Bakingbites.com

I made a few adjustments on the original recipe. Since Doha eggs are pretty small, I added the white of another egg. Also, I used regular sized chocolate chips instead of minis. Oh, and I for sure didn't pop the dough in the freezer overnight after mixing like the recipe suggested. I'm totally an instant gratification gal. I don't have time for such nonsense. So, instead of "slicing" as called for, I spooned dropped them onto the cookie sheets. And, of course, I didn't read the directions until I was half way into the mixing, so my order and the author's was a bit mangled.

Special thanks go to @dohanews for tweeting
the recipe to begin with!

Hot Fun in the Summertime ~ Sly & The Family Stone

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

All in a Day's Work

So, what the heck do I do all day, you ask? Admittedly, a question I pose to myself quite often, as well. Well, today I rebodied a few friends, and as we speak, I've got chocolate chip cookies baking in the Tahoe. Now, what did you do today?

Happy Birthday to my latest Centerfold friends!

High school buddy...

Denise Flurry Lalonde turns 51!!!

and Qatar expat friend...

Ellen Stevenson turns ?

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Monday, July 26, 2010


I snapped this picture while David and I were sipping a latte at Starbucks in City Center on Saturday afternoon. (It's our favorite location to people watch, besides Columbiano Coffee outside of Carrefour at Landmark Mall.) Right in front of me these five gentleman took a pause to watch the ice skaters below. There was something about the moment that grabbed me, so I in turn grabbed my camera and clicked just seconds before they paraded away. With tongue in cheek I tweeted this morning for help in captioning this photo. All I could come up with was "Qatari in Training". It seemed too blasé and I knew there was something missing. Well, leave it to, oh so witty, aka @weirdweb to get at the very essence of the photo. Now, you may have to live in Qatar or at least the GCC area to understand it, but for those that do his caption packs a powerful punch.

Without any further adieu, the winning caption is:

"Son, you'll never be mistaken for a bachelor."

'nuff said.

In an attempt to explain the meaning of the term "bachelor" in Qatar and surrounding areas, I give you this article I found entitled "Bachelor City" from The Muslim Observer.

Perhaps a simpler definition: laborer
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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Doha's Greasy Spoon

Putting the grease in the term "greasy spoon"...

Breakfast of Champions
Ric's Kountry Kitchen

Doha ~ Qatar

Related article: Time Out Doha

Alice's Restaurant ~ Arlo Guthrie
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

You Have Questions, I Have Answers

They might not always be what you want to hear, but trust me, I always have something to say

I have to admit I'm a bit excited today. David and I have a date to meet a Doha newbie that I have been corresponding with via email for the last several months. She ran across my blog one day and emailed me with questions regarding living conditions that she would encounter while doing a temporary assignment in an unknown land. Her concerns ranged from banking to safety to clothing to reality t.v. to manicures to biking to surfing (yes, like catching a wave!) to wi-fi to medicines. I'm in my element when fielding such questions. I totally understand all these concerns and many more when moving to a country that doesn't even know the rules about having a "u" follow the "q". Speaking of following queues, they don't do that, either. Ah, another day. My goal is to answer these questions as objectively as possible and to avoid any misconceptions that Qatar is a Utopia. I know I might convey it that way at times, but I have a way of fooling myself so that I can stay in that happy bubble that I so love to live. To sum up how I really feel about living here, I'll answer a question recently posed to me by another reader. "Would you do it, gain?" Heck, yeah. Anywho, I'm anxious to meet up with my pen pal to get not only her take on her new adventure, but also to find out if my answers met the reality of her encounters thus far. Next, looking forward to fielding your questions.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's All Relative

In all fairness to the great state of Qatar, there may be a need to follow up on my last post. It seems I did my fair share of whining about the sauna I arrived to on Saturday night. It was expected, nothing out of the ordinary for mid July in Doha. Since that night, however, the humidity has dropped and the weather has been rather pleasant (by Doha summer standards, that is). For instance, today's 112F temp only feels like 108F when you factor in the relative humidity. Check it out here on this handy dandy heat index calculator. Pretty impressive, huh. Our counterparts in Texas are probably suffering from the heat more than we are...albeit temporarily. Without a doubt, the unbearable humidity will soon roar its ugly head in full force and stick around for longer than welcome.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Meanwhile Back in the Sauna...

Just in case I thought it was all a foggy dream that I was back in Doha last night stepping into a sauna that registered a heat index of 134F as I deplaned, reality sank in while perusing the news this morning...

Welcome home, Syb!
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Heat is On

Yikes! These are the actual temps we are going home to in a couple of days. I don't even want to know what the heat index is. The Facebook status of a couple of my Doha friends in the "pink villas" indicates that their air conditioning is out. Fingers crossed that ours is up and running on arrival!

On a related note: These cookies might start to be the rage if while the desert heat is on. I'll get back with you on how the Tahoe oven and my culinary skills get along.

Thanks, @dohanews!

The Heat is On ~ Glenn Fry
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Winding Down

David and I made a weekend run to our old home town of "The Groves" for one last visit before we head back to Doha this coming Friday. I have to admit I had a little too much fun at the expense of some lucky family members as I was rummaging through old family pics. It's amazing what you can do if you have a scanner and a Facebook account. I did use some restraint, but had a little trouble when I ran across a couple of pics of my now forty something year old brother dressed as a girl in his much younger days. Sorry about that control breakdown, Mark.

After doing all the damage I could do while reminiscing, we headed to Nacogdoches for a quick visit with Kayla at her new stomping grounds. She's loving her new SFA job and life is good. While in town, we stayed at The Jones House which is a gorgeous bed and breakfast establishment. It was built in 1897 and has since been restored to its original grandeur. We soaked up its Victorian ambiance and enjoyed our time with Kayla. We're back in Kyle now for a couple of more days with Kristi and Dustin soaking up our last drops of Texas as our U.S. trek winds down.

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Barbeque or Bust?

David recently heard that several of the top barbeque places in Texas are right here in our neck of the woods. So, on a trip home from Port Arthur, we made it our business to drive through Lockhart to put our taste buds to the test. One snafu, he couldn't remember the names of any of the places. We opted for the most advertised, which was Blacks Barbeque. It was ok, but definitely nothing earth shattering. After arriving back in Kyle, we did a little research and found that we were off the mark on picking the right place. That ended up being a relief, since we didn't necessarily agree with the rave reviews. So we headed back out to Lockhart this week to visit Kreuz Market, only to find an empty parking lot with a "closed" sign. Plan B...head on over to another ranked place on the list, Smitty's Market in Lockhart's town square. We entered the premises to be met with an overpowering smokehouse aroma that was burning David's eyes and making me nauseous. I think the smell would have overtaken us before we could have made it through the very long line. We stepped out for a breath of fresh air and I spotted Henry's Diner across the street. It looked to be more my cup of tea, anyway...quiet, laid back, unassuming with sound country food. While we were eating I looked over at Smitty's and spotted an old man taping a hand written sign on the door which read, "Sold out of Meat". Uh, ok. Bottom line: We may never find out about the famous Texas barbeque that lurks in our country back roads. Not to worry, Railroad Barbeque just down the street in Kyle ranks pretty dang high at our house.
County Courthouse in Lockhart, Texas

Something Like That ~ Tim McGraw
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