Friday, December 7, 2012

Ten Random Doha Somethings

  • The name QATAR means "drop of rain."  
 
Once upon a time it rained a lot on this desert peninsula. Now there's so little moisture that the country didn't bother putting in a stormwater system.  When the sky does shed, water floods the streets until a truck appears with a great hose, sucks up the pool and hauls it off. (The city's sewage system consists of a series of trucks that collect waste matter and...take it away.) 
 
Nine more random somethings:
  • Most (as in: all but the most rebellious) Qatari marriages are arranged and inter-familial.  Mom and Sis find Bro a bride - sometimes at family weddings. 
  • A woman is not allowed to attend funerals or burials.  Nope, not for her children or husband, either. Because it's "a woman's nature" to cry - and her tears disturb the deceased's journey.
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  • Family and friends give money to children during Eid.  How much?  Teens may collect "a few thousand" Qatari Riyal while younger kids typically walk away with "a few hundred."
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  • Extended Qatari families live together in one big house behind a high concrete wall.  A bride moves in with her husband's family, but she doesn't change her name. 
interesting door and gate surround an Al Khor home
  • Oil gets its own aisle in the grocery store. (Chocolate has its own aisle too but there were too many people there to snap a surreptitious photo.)
 
  
 
  • Toilet paper, generally speaking, is not provided in public facilities.  When toilet paper is utilized, it is disposed of in an open trash can, NOT the bowl.
 
toilet paper wall dispenser; take what you need BEFORE entering stall

 
  • Actual restaurant napkins:
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    Yes, it's a box of Kleenex
      
  • It's acceptable to park near the front door of any random restaurant and honk your horn repeatedly.  Someone will appear, take your order and bring it out to you.
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  • There aren't any palm trees on Palm Tree Island (a deserty mound in the middle of Doha Bay). Just one lonely Eucalyptus:
 
 
 
My head's over occupied this week:  there's that Arabic final coming up and a work thing to learn.  And, oh yeah, Christmas, which we plan to spend with other wayfarers cruising Doha Bay on a dhow.
 
But mostly Bob and I are all-a-jumble-flump excited about the upcoming visit of our wondrous misses Katie and Kimber.
 
It's K TIME!
 
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