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Last Visit 2013-12-31 12:00:11 |Start Date 2005-05-26 16:50:55 |Comments 1,821 |Entries 581 |Images 1,362 |Videos 10 |

Category: about doha

08/31/07 02:48 - 75ºF - ID#40860

would you like perfume with your meal?

Last weekend I was invited to lunch by a Qatari colleague of mine. She and her family offered us a traditional lunch, which is served family style on the floor. It was such a great experience to go into their home and share this with them.


Here we are preparing to dig in!

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The food was delicious. That orange looking thing in the right corner is actually the burned rice from the bottom of the pot. Apparently it is rude to not serve every bit of what was prepared in the kitchen.

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Dessert was a type of cheesecake served with Qatari coffee. It looks like tea, tasted like bland green tea, but having the two together balanced each other well.

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After that we were served actual tea. You can get fancy sugar cubes here. Different colours or even some with other flavors mixed in, like mint or cinnammon.

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Once we finished with the meal they brought in an "aoud". It's a special type of incense. It is used to cleanse you after the meal. It smells nice but burned my eyeballs.

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After we are cleansed, it's time for perfume! Yah. It's something you can't miss when you're walking around an Arab country, they looooove their perfume.

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Location: Niagara Falls, NY


Category: about doha

08/29/07 03:57 - 67ºF - ID#40796

neat things

  • I had a dream I slapped someone in the face in the middle of a party. I didn't realize just how satisfying this drama move could be.

  • Enjoy the photos. I really wish you could be here to experience them live.


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driving around town

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on the corniche, view of downtown

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electricity street (in the old part of town) name so because it was the first street to get electricity in doha

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sunset on campus...i really must head out for more desert sunsets

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i told you about the gondola rides at villagio mall

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carey look what i found at the grocery!

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dinner at a lebanese joint in the old souq

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down by the old souq

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Category: potpourri

08/22/07 04:05 - 73ºF - ID#40674

bullets

  • I'm getting a massage tomorrow.

  • I can't wait for above mentioned massage.

  • I can't wait because I'm in tremendous pain, as a result of my worn out mattress.

  • I inquired and they are going to buy me a new mattress :)

  • I'm watching Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run)

  • It makes me miss my fun coloured hair badly.

  • All this talk of hair lately makes me miss Lilho.

  • I'm going to buy plants at the plant souq this weekend.

  • I'm going to buy paint and supplies to start painting my apartment as well.

  • I think I'm going to paint the following quote on one of my walls: "Highly developed spirits often encounter resistance from mediocre minds" - Albert Einstein.

  • I think Theecarey will understand what I mean with that quote.
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Category: hair

08/21/07 03:50 - 67ºF - ID#40658

long locks

I live with my hair. It clings to my scalp with relentless force. I twirl my fingers through it every single day, I tie it up off my hot neck every single day, I SEE it every single day. However, it still managed to surprise me when I saw my profile. My hair is getting long! Remember when you first met me?

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2 years and about 25 haircuts later.....


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Category: about doha

08/17/07 05:40 - 75ºF - ID#40597

cruisin

I took this morning's quiet street time as an opportunity to practice driving. Friday is the Muslim holy day so everyone is at mosque. It's usually when you see all the expats buying groceries so as to avoid the mobs. I'm proud to say I only got a 'little' lost for a 'little' while. I should probably give myself more credit that than sounds like. I mean it is difficult to navigate streets (with no names) that don't exactly match the maps available to you.

My journey included locating my aunt and uncle's villa (successfully) and then making my way to the Villagio Mall to get some groceries. One day I'll take pics inside the mall but it's hard with so many people around. The ceiling is painted to look like a soft blue sky dotted with clouds. They also have a pool river that you can take gondola rides in, which is weird but fun.

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One of the many crazy roundabout signs

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This road makes me think it's some kind of alien landing strip.

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Lexington Co-op goes international :)

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Date trees are everywhere! They stick to your shoes too.

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The 'Doha Nights' series continues...

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Category: potpourri

08/16/07 04:13 - 68ºF - ID#40571

fresh air and automobiles

Maintenance came and scrubbed down my AC units and replaced the filters. A-men! It was yucky and smelled like moth balls. Every time I walked in my door I felt like I was entering some little old lady's house. I put air fresheners everywhere but they were no match for the stink. While I was talking to the team leader, he informed me part of the reason some of them start to smell bad is because AC units are connected to the toilet lines. Mmmmmm. :)

Supposedly there are points during the year when you can turn off the AC and breathe fresh air. I'm excited about that! I go through so much lotion here. Care package ideas people: send Body Shop Body Butter!!!

I'm still waiting for the official go ahead with my mailing address but I will share it just as soon as it's confirmed. I'm in need of fan mail. There's nothing more comforting than getting snail mail, especially when you're eight million miles away from everything you know. Even if it shows up a year later, right (e:Ajay)? Ha-ha.

So, this afternoon I'll make a run to the store and buy some smellers to shove in my newly cleaned units. I do love the scent of spiced apples. It's all cozy and feels good on the olfactory senses.

I miss SPOT coffee. Starbucks is everywhere here, which is ok, but their caramel macchiato just doesn't taste the same. Care package ideas people: send SPOT coffee beans!

I miss you all. I hope to arrange a party for the next time I'm in Buffalo. That might not be until April 08....but it's never too soon to plan the greatest spectacle on earth! Ciao.
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Category: poem

08/13/07 05:14 - 80ºF - ID#40519

the dispute

So I came across this poem (suicide note). I thought it was fascinating. I was trying to find an entry I wrote last year where I talked about my depression and the battle for my soul because it practically parallels this poem. I guess that's why this struck such a cord with me when I read it. What's more, this was written by an Egyptian man about 4,000 years ago! They found it (written on papyrus) during an archeological dig. Isn't that amazing? How much life, as we know it, has changed in 4,000 years - yet the human condition maintains. In the end, we still need that affection, that contact from our own kind, which enables us to be at peace with ourselves. I'm not lonely but I certainly feel alone right now.

Lo my name reeks
Lo, more than carrion smell
On summer days of burning sky...

Lo, my name reeks
Lo, more than that of a sturdy child
Who is said to belong to one
Who rejects him...

To whom shall I speak today?
Brothers are mean
One goes to strangers for affection...

To whom shall I speak today?
I am burdened with grief
For lack of an intimate...

Death is before me today
Like a sick man's recovery
Like going outdoors after confinement...

Death is before me today
Like a man's longing to see his home
When he has spent many years in captivity

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Category: potpourri

08/10/07 04:14 - 68ºF - ID#40470

afghan dinner

Dinner last night was amazing! The Afghani boys made a traditional meal for us and it was incredibly tasty and they even made it look pretty.

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I've asked for some recipes, so I will share those when I get them. Oh, interesting side note, they call okra, 'lady fingers'. At first I thought they were talking about cookies but I looked puzzled when they said it was in a tomato base with potato :)


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This is my rental car. It looks like 90% of the cars in Doha. I had to buy a bright red window shade more for the purpose of FINDING my car in a parking lot. The other 10% are landcruisers, if you were wondering.

Does anyone have suggestions on how I can check emission standards across the globe? If I'm going to buy a car I'd like to bring it back to the US with me. I want to make a wise purchase that won't surprise me later. I also have to look for a 4x4, but small, vehicle in order to be able to SCUBA dive - and not bottom out on every speed hump, bump, and vertical wall they place on the roads.

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Things are getting real toasty over here. Days are averaging around 115 with 60% humidity. It's like the opposite of snowy days in Buffalo where you come in from outside and your glasses fog up.

I'm almost done with training, then we begin international student orientation. That runs another week. The bonus I get from this is my requirement to chaperone some of the outings. I'll be going to one of the souqs this week so I hope to buy some new fancy sandals. I will try to take photos but you have to be very careful in that type of public place. Ciao for now.


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Category: potpourri

08/08/07 05:01 - 76ºF - ID#40436

still around, just busy

I'm sorry I don't have much time to report lately. Training is really taking up most of my waking hours. I do a lot a half hour or so to working on the new Tomb Raider Anniversary. It's relaxing, except when you know, a dinosaur jumps out of nowhere, or you take a wooden dart to the head.
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Here are a few shots of downtown Doha at night. This whole city is under construction, it's just booming!

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Category: about doha

08/06/07 01:47 - 80ºF - ID#40406

bad dream and qatari law

I had the WORST dream last night, woke up in sweats and panic this morning. In my dream I apparently had amnesia, and when I came to acknowledge myself, I found I was super pregnant! Like big huge belly pregnant. I was kind of poking at my belly and squishing it, thinking to myself, "this can't be mine, this isn't my real belly is it?" Then the father, or whom I assume is the father, walks in the room and smiles ear to ear. He exclaims how excited he was to find out the news and is so very happy to be a dad. He's hugging me and kissing me and there are tears in his eyes. I, however am freaking out and can't stop thinking to myself, "you are the last guy on earth that I know who would ever want a kid!". It was just too bizarre for me. Truly.

In other news I learned a little something about Qatari law during Ramadan. I was aware that Muslims fast from dawn til dusk during the month of Ramadan. What I was not aware of is that it is illegal to smoke, eat or drink anything in public, between dawn and dusk. It's a serious offense and you would get jail time! Oh, and you'll love the laws on alcohol. Drinking age is 16 here, but you can't be Muslim. If you are caught under age, you will receive 3 months in jail and a fine of 10k QR (which equals about $2,740). It is also illegal to engage in public displays of affection, which can also result in jail time and fines.

Chris got a speeding ticket the other day. We only know because they use video cameras and were shocked with a nice big flash. Don't know how much that'll cost. Apparently the going rate for running a red light though is 3k QR ($820). I really wonder if there is some way to convince the ministry to use some of this money for driver's education courses. The leading cause of death in this country, and why I make such a fuss about these roundabouts, is car accidents. They have signs of brutal accidents posted everywhere, signs of families with a ghostly father figure saying "where are you daddy?"...but I don't see this passive form of education as doing any justice. They need to teach these people how to drive, how to yeild, how to not drive 60mph down a side street. Clearly your speed bump infested streets do nothing more than bottom out the vehicles. Thank God they are slowly converting major roundabouts to traffic light intersections.
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mike said to mike
Well really I did not bury the hatched in my mind I guess because now 5 years later, I just saw him ...

mike said to mike
Well really I did not bury the hatched in my mind I guess because now 5 years later, I just saw him ...

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mike said to mike
Well 14 years later I have more grays but still solidly more pepper than salt so that's good at leas...