Monday, June 06, 2011

Doha Landscape

Doha is constantly changing. It reinvents itself on a yearly, monthly, and sometimes daily basis. If you are not good with constant change, Doha is not the place for you.

This is the new Renaissance/Marriott hotels which are due to open in 5 days.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Okay, so today I head to the Doha International Book Fair to see what is on offer. It's mostly books in arabic, which is expected, but there are a few English offerings.

However, there I am strolling through the book fair when I notice that there is one exhibition dedicated to just one author. L. Ron Hubbard. I kid you not. While there was no signage anywhere on the temporary store that said that it was sponsored by the Church of Scientology, it surely had to have been. One of the very well dressed gentlemen there said a cheery hello to me and obviously wanted to have a discussion but I just nodded and kept on walking.

Now, I'm not too sure about the laws in Qatar around proselytizing but I'm pretty sure that if it's not strictly illegal, then it must be seriously frowned upon. Obviously the managers of the book fair had no idea who L. Ron Hubbard is and just thought that the owners of the book shop were just really big fans of one author.

No matter what, it shows that the Church of Scientology certainly has some serious nerves of steel. Either that or they are just seriously ignorant about Qatar and its people's religious beliefs.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Well, I've been back in Doha for over a month and the shine has worn off. I won't go into it with too much detail, as I'll get very angry and it will ruin the rest of my day. Suffice to say, I'm being seriously screwed around from an HR point of view, and it's starting to affect me financially and the mental wear and tear is starting to seriously bring me down. If another person says Inshallah to me I will stuff it right back down their throat.

The most frustrating thing about it is that it is so easily fixed. Had they done what they were suppose to do - when they promised they would do it - then I would be deliriously happy and going on with my life. Instead, they have neglected even their most basic duties and consequently they have a deeply unhappy staff member.

Anyways, to try to regain some of my sanity this week I paid a visit to the Museum of Islamic Art. It's a real showcase of a building, with some amazing things inside. The building was designed by the acclaimed I.M. Pei (responsible for the pyramid at the Louvre) and the inside was designed by the best of the best. The visit really helped calm me down a bit, but then I had to walk home. :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Well, it's been way too long since I've written in this blog. After a while I just ran out of new things to say. Work got in the way, the daily grind is not very interesting.

However, my original reason for doing the blog has come around again and so I thought I would give it another whirl. Yes, that's right. I've moved back to Doha. Crazy right? But it's for a great job and I liked it here the first time so what the hell, why not.

I've been back in Doha for a week and it's just like old times. I'm staying in a hotel in West Bay while the formalities are sorted with the appropriate government departments. West Bay is strange. There are buildings going up left right and centre, but the place is a ghost town at night. Seriously. I don't know who is going to live or work in these towers when they are done with them. The population here might have increased by 50% since I left 4 years ago (there is now about 1.5 million people in Qatar) but still there is too much space.

The best thing about this though is that it means that there is a serious glut on the market and I'm here at the right time to get a very good deal on housing. I'm going to start looking for a semi-permanent place in the next couple of weeks. The hotel is good, but I hate not being able to cook my own food.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Images of San Fran

Me in a winery. Dan-ge-rous.
It's not red, dammit! It's international orange. Get with the program.

You're mine, bitches.

Hmmm, wait a minute, I've heard of that island!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thanksgiving morning walk

Friday, September 11, 2009

West Wing, S1, E18: 6 Meetings before Lunch

Seems I missed this episode...funny.

It’s Toby’s day of jubilee – Mendoza is going to be elected today by at least 51 per cent of the Senate – but Toby won’t let anyone celebrate until the 51st vote is cast. Obviously in the last few episodes, Toby and Josh have been working on the confirmation process but we haven’t seen much of it.

But Mallory is going to disturb Sam’s day of Jubilee, she’s upset about a position paper that he has written about school vouchers and she commands his morning to talk about it, Sam is hapless and goes along with it even though it was a paper that was arguing the opposite of what he actually thinks. Mallory (played by Allison Smith) eats her words.

CJ has a great moment in this episode, as she lip synchs “the Jackal” for her colleagues. Allison Janney, as usual, is just great. She spends most of the episode trying to keep a story smothered about a supposed drug dealer that was arrested at a party that Zoey Bartlett was at (she left before he was arrested apparently).

Josh spends most of the episode talking to a black civil rights leader he wants to appoint to a higher office about financial reparations for slavery. It’s a good discourse and well worth listening to.

Mandy makes a pretty lame appearance here. We know she’s not in the next season and I guess that Sorkin was just trying to find something for her to do – I’m sure she was under contract and so might as well be used. She’s concerned about getting the National Zoo a new panda bear after the last one died. Boring!