Saturday, 23 December 2006

Walking through Doha again

Got ready to sail off to my ship on wednesday morning, but after all what happenned it would have been a miracle if i actually got on that i was delayed again till tomorrow, this time they were planning to put me on our supply boat Zakher princess and sending me straight to the Bluefin together with our chief navigator as he was delayed, this plan changed later to going on the pinging vessel Stanford services later to get to Bluefin when the sun is laready up so that we won't wait too long till they send the FRC for us.

So i took another day in Doha, and went out for another long walk to the coast but this time taking another route and walking during the day, the sight in the morning is even more gorgeous, you see how blue the sea is and how beautiful with the sun shining warm and bright and with the great palms along that coast...what can i say? just perfect!

As usual i got home quite tired, and i spent the late afternoon sleeping, and that was a good sleep, i felt so good after it.

Later that evening i went out for a simple junk dinner at Burger King, came back, had a nice hot bath then ordered cheese cake and tea to my room, the amount of tea they got me raised my mood even was really a lot !

Thursday morning right before going for breakfast, i got a call from our chief navigator to check what were my plans for the day, after we were informed that we're moving to the port at around 4. I had my breakfast then went around the shops near by to get some things that i needed, got back to the hotel then called him, we went out for a walk...again to the sea-side, sat there for a while then went back, had lunch and went up to our rooms to relax for a while and get ready to go, met down in the lobby at 4 and waited for our agent...then our journey to the Bluefin began...

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Walking through Doha

Back to work, back to staying away from home.

This trip i flew to join my crew in Doha, Qatar...After a lot of visa/ticket problems, and coming to and from the airport, and switching airlines, and getting the ticket the night before flying (taking into consideration that the flight is at 9:30, i.e. i'm supposed to be there at 7:30!!!), i finally landed in Doha...And after the taxi came one hour late, and the hotel booking wasn't ready, i finally got a room, caught my breath and went out to see Doha.

Although there are a lot of Indians, Pakistanis, Philippinos and so on in Doha, it still has its own Arabic Gulf taste, and you still feel that this is an Arabic city, i see it as a mixture of Dubai in the new areas, and my home town in Jordan: Irbid (yes, that small town) in the old areas, but still it's nice, it's not a wow thing, but not a city that makes you depressed either. And another thing i noticed here, women and girls are great rarety in the streets, i saw only 3 or 4 walking in town, and 2 of them were foreign, but you find a lot of them an el Corniche or in the malls though. But it gets quite creepy in other streets, for example when a bus full of workers pass by, and suddenly they all turn to look at me .

I started walking from my hotel towards the shore on a long street called wadi Musheireb, passing old markets and going into a place of the city that makes you feel like Ataba in Egypt but of course much less crowded . At the end of that street (where it actually changes name to Al Muthaf st., =the museum) you find a traditional big white building that serves as the Qatar National museum and looks quite nice, a lot of sweet roundabouts with traditional gulf symbols like essence pots, fishing boats, water pots, pearl shells...etc

Getting to the shore isn't a big transition feeling as you actually don't see the water straight away so it comes to you quite gradually, walking along the shore (on El Corniche st.) is a real pleasure, it's made in a very beautiful way, you have a pedestrian wide path right next to the sea then small beautiful green areas separating it from the main street. It's a long street, well, very long, but it's worth it to walk it from the start right to the end.

The most empressive part for me was the old market, with all these really touching beautiful old buildings, and small streets and lanes in between, just gorgeous, they're also restoring it so it looks just like a story from "A thousand and one nights", you start hearing Shahrazad in your mind, and waiting for people with swords and on horses to appear .

So my trip walking took about 4 hours, after which my feet stopped carrying me, i started dragging them, and when i manage to do that, find myself walking zigzags,but i enjoyed it, made a lot of photos, had a nice chinese meal, took a taxi and got back to my hotel. I'm writing this while i talk to my mother, making sure everything's fine with me here , will finish that and straight to bed, tomorrow is a long day, i'm joining my vessel and the journey won't be that short, wish me luck