First Doha Visitor!

skilletOriginal Post: April 8, 2015

The idea behind the world being so small is so true. As I sat and had lunch with a colleague recently, we began talking about sailing. Turns out, he and a friend owns a sailing company and provide sailing tours to people all over the world. The company has a trip coming up to Thailand. What’s ironic about it is I’d just viewed the site and thought about how wonderful it would be to go on such a trip. I would have never thought I’d sit and have lunch with the owner a couple of weeks after marveling at the idea. After spending time out on a Top Cat in the Maldives, I really did fall in love with sailing. It is so peaceful and being out on the water is such a freeing experience. If you’re interested in a sailing adventure, check out their site: Odyssey Adventures.

My mom arrived after an unplanned overnight stay in Frankfurt Germany.  It’s been good to see her. She’s shorter than I remember but she also thought I was taller than she remembered. We spent the first evening dining at the Noodle House at the City Center Mall. I must say I was very disappointed in the flavorless food. I’ve eaten there many times it’s usually pretty good. Not so much this time. We went to Carrefour, our version of  Wal-mart Supercenter, for breakfast food and snacks. We talked a little about the traditional dress of the locals here and others who practice the Muslim faith.

When we got back to the apartment she gave me all the stuff she brought for me from the US: cast iron skillet, granola, Girl Scout cookies! I was in heaven! I didn’t realize that a little piece of home could bring such joy. I have long hair pins now so I should be able to rock my faux hawk soon! Can’t wait!

Day 2 was spent at the souq. We arrived just prior to the shops opening for the afternoon and went to the Turkish restaurant at the Village in the souq to have Turkish coffee; and more importantly to have our coffee grounds read. It’s like tarot card reading except it’s the coffee grounds after you’ve finished your coffee. We ordered hummus with sautéed lamb and pine nuts and we had calamari. The hummus was excellent. I had good hummus a few days ago a Kempinski but this hummus was even better. The calamari was lightly battered and had great flavor. The Turkish coffee we ordered with sugar. I was a bit afraid because I thought it would taste like espresso. However, it was great. Good full flavor and sweet enough.

Back to the coffee grounds…they guy who read them was very nice and friendly and quite entertaining as well. My reading was first and all I can say is it was fascinating! I knew exactly what he was talking about with each situation he mentioned. One in particular hit really close to home. The other involved an abundance of money. He used the phrased “Flowing like oil”.  I was impressed! Then it came time for my mother’s reading. Now, people tell me about my facial expression. Mom’s expressions were priceless. I couldn’t tell if she thought the guy was a nut case or what. Turns out, he was right about some things during her reading. It was a fun experience.

After that we strolled through the souq. Mom bought some souvenirs for folks. I didn’t have to do much haggling, which was nice. Sometimes it can be exhausting other times it’s fun. Speaking of exhausting, I have been exhausted lately…I digress. So we had some fun with some of the shop owners. I went to one jewelry shop and remembered the guy had previously written my name in Arabic for me. So I asked him to write her name in Arabic and he happily obliged. We explored the jewelry souq and realized just how expensive gold is. Yeah…passed on the gold.

Finally we stopped at one of the outdoor cafes. I introduced her to the lemon mint drink here that’s very popular. I’m not sure she like it and described it as Earthy.  Then we did as the Romans do when in Rome, as Aaron put it.

We ended the night at Argan, a Moroccan restaurant.  With its beautiful décor, we dined at the same table I’ve sat at every time I’ve been there. I noticed the place has new menus and the wait staff was dressed in Moroccan attire. They were much more attentative this time that they have been in the past. With our earlier hummus and calamari, neither of us were that hungry. Mom had a Moroccan potato salad and I had the vegetable soup. It was a very light dinner but I was good after that and turned in early.

The next few days: Jazz and Dubai. This will be a whirlwind…

Living life…and it’s good.

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