I am going to need a very good wide brimmed sunhat.

January 8, 2011

I am awoken every morning at 5am by the Call to Prayer – it gently wakes me from my slumber and then I drift off again.  It’s a very beautiful sound – particularly at sunrise and sunset; it sets the tone of time and place.  I find it very calming.

View from The Apartment

The souk was amazing.  A vast network of open spaces and meandering covered lane-ways.  There are spices and fabrics and hookahs and jewellery and pets – random coloured chicks and kittens (yes I was tempted).  I was asked to take tea in a shop selling manchester and bedding – I sat on blankets talking about Australia with a gentleman in traditional Qatari dress.  He spoke knowingly about home and I asked if he had lived there ‘oh no – I just went for a picnic’ was his response – delightful!

Coloured chooks at the souk

Ironically he also worked in TV – for the main Al Jazeera Network – he’d worked on OB’s in his younger days and is now in the Tech area – he’d been in tele 39 years!

I didn’t take many photos of the souk – I was on a mission for kitchen utensils and spices – it was also night – I’m sure there will be plenty off opportunity to capture the mood of them whilst I’m here.

Compound life will take some getting use to.  Whilst it is essentially four small apartment blocks, it is odd to see the people that you are working with randomly in the carpark.  Our Traffic Scheduler lives three floors below me – I had no idea; he appeared all smiles in national dress to take his son to soccer as I wait for a driver to take me to the CBD.

Doha City Centre

The CBD is an architects paradise – no Prince Charles stopping innovative design here.  The detail – on all their buildings – is reminiscent if the Victorian age when the art of masonry was appreciated.  Skyscrapers with filagree – beautiful structures dressed with steel lace work – amazing.

Steel lace work

Once again I was the only one walking – cars for hire keep tooting me to see if I am lost or I need a lift.  I just wanted to see the sea!  I followed my nose and Piscean sensibility to the Arabian Gulf.  Azure.

The Gulf of Arabia

I managed to find a beach – or what is called a beach here – essentially an empty block along the coast in between two hotels.  There were two Italian sunbakers who gave me the rundown – this is one of two beaches where you can strip off to normal western swimming attire – at the ‘family beach’ I would have to wear a burqini.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burqini

I figure beggars can’t be choosers – i’ll take any opportunity to swim in the sea having been deprived of my favourite pass time for 6 years – building site beach it is.  For now I can say i’ve dipped my toes in and the water is fine!

Beach

Went shopping for essentials at Carrefour – several of us in the homeware section buying clothes horses and pots.  Huge hypermarket – the only thing I couldn’t find was rice milk – but this was compensated by the presence of the yoghurt I can normally only get in France.  So with a full trolley I headed home and can now cook, dry clothes and play music properly from my Mac.

It’s warm – it’s my favourite type of heat at the moment – but it’s winter and this scares me.  If I choose to stay I could have months in air-con and those who know me well know how much I hate them.  All karma for being the air-conditioner whinger at Teachers TV is firmly coming back my way!  I’ve spent today basking in my hammock that I have strewn on the balcony – pig in mud is me.  I am going to need a very good wide brimmed sunhat!

Happy little vegemite

I guess the frequency off this blog will be indicitive of new surroundings and lack of a social structure in the beginning.  I meet with the Doha Knitting group on Monday, they know I’m coming and have put out a call to find me a lift – got to love Crafty Folk!

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One Response to “I am going to need a very good wide brimmed sunhat.”

  1. Andy Says:

    Gazing out the window at the grey clouds gathering over London it suddenly all looks very appealing! Those buildings all look very close together, are they all part of one complex?


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