Day off Doha!

February 22, 2013

Hi Family and Friends,

Today was the kind of day that makes me want to hug the whole world, it was that awesome.

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After waking up, I wandered around the Corniche road, the road that runs by the seaside. Most of these Gulf cities have a corniche road and fortunately my hotel is right near it so I can walk to it. I went in search of some food because the Islamic Arts museum (also on Corniche, and in walking distance) didn’t open until two. Everything opens late on Fridays.

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I found this cool looking coffee shop that had people in it and went in and drank some coffee and observed the scene. The shop It is right on the water so that was great. I ordered a second coffee because I was pretty content to sit there and watch people. The guys next to me started up a conversation and invited me to sit with them. They are George and Maz from Lebanon.

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George must be a popular name in Lebanon. They knew each other from the same town. George shared his shisha with me and I ended up hanging out with them for an hour and a half. This place was really for men, they said. It was okay for foreigners to come in, even women (so it was fine that we were hanging out) but they said that an arab women would not come in there.

20130222_142525By then it was past two so it was time to go. I asked the server for my bill. Another guy nearby made some comment about how I was going to pay for everything while I was talking to the server, and then he Insisted on paying for my coffees because he felt that he had been was rude. He Insisted. I objected because it seemed a little silly and then he took out his hands and went pow pow kind of telling me to shut up and let him pay for my coffees. Okay!

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He tried to get me to sit and talk to him and the (foreign) woman he was sitting with (He was from Jordan, I think this other lady was British) but he seemed pretty weird and I really wanted to get going. I thanked George and Maz for their company, because it was really a special morning with them.

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I walked over to the museum. My favorite things there were a notebook that looked like someone was in the process of editing it, a sweet, highly decorated dagger, and some really fabulous necklaces. They had a section on science in art, and a ton of compasses. There were also a ton of nice carpets.

One of the themes of the museum was that Islamic art is about making ordinary things beautiful. The building itself was pretty awesome. I thought that on the whole the museum was very cool, but no better or worse than the KL Islamic arts museum, except that this one had a patio area with an incredible view.

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After the museum, I headed to Souq Waqif, another landmark. The souq was great. It was bigger than the other souqs I’ve been to on this trip. I bartered for and purchased some funky earrings and wandered around.

In one section of the market, there were women making these crepe things with egg, cream cheese, and hot sauce, so I got one for snack time. Crispy and delicious.

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I walked around the souq until dark because I was told it was cool after dark. It was. There are many different restaurants in one section, and everyone is sitting outside smoking shisha, drinking tea or coffee, and eating delicious looking small plates.

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After the souq, I went back to the hotel and had a great work out. The gym in this hotel is small but nice, and I was the only one in there.

After the work out, I headed back to that Syrian restaurant. I had Ful, which was similar to the Ful Medames I had for breakfast in Kuwait except that the beans weren’t mashed up and this one wasn’t spicy with jalepenos. Plus, they used fava beans and chick peas instead of kidney beans so it definitely tasted more Arabic than Mexican.

20130222_123430With it, I had fresh pita bread, Labneh, and salad. The same server as before brought over a little sandwich thing to try too for free. I was so hungry after my work out so this was perfect. Such a satisfying meal. I finished with a nice Turkish coffee. I love Turkish coffee! I may have overdone it though today. It’s very strong.

Now I’m safe at the hotel room, and excited to get in bed and eat the mini Toblerone they left on the bed! What a great day!

Love, Annie

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4 Responses to “Day off Doha!”

  1. Ronna Says:

    What is Shisha? Do you eat it? Do you smoke it? Do I not want to know?

  2. Marlene clayton Says:

    Sounds like a great day. Can you sleep after Turkish coffee? Love you


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