Final wanderings in Doha

Trip Start Aug 30, 2009
Trip End Dec 25, 2009

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

        After the morning at the Falcon Center and the private zoo, my driver had told me that the Sheikh Faisal bin Qassin Al-Thani Museum was quite excellent and he recommended it even more than the Museum of Islamic Art.  So I had agreed to go have a look.  We would pass it on our way back into town from the thwarted trip to see the Oryx Center where we ended up at a private zoo instead.
        We pull into the drive and get to the gate where a man stops us.  The conversation goes something like, "Do you have a permit", "it's closed",  My driver asks to call the manager and tries to hand the phone to me to talk to him but I let him do the talking which is good since he goes into Arabic immediately.  We can't get into the museum is the final word.  Apparently this is a private museum and you must make arrangements ahead of time to get a permit or permission to visit.  My driver had come one time without the required permission and the manager had been in a generous mood that day so let him and his client into the museum but after getting into two places this morning, our luck was out so it's back to town.
        I had my driver take me to the City Center Mall otherwise also known as the Carrefour Mall.  It's the largest, I think, and has an ice rink, 4 floors of shops, and is luxury just waiting to be purchased.  I said goodbye to my driver of two days and head into the mall for some lunch and a haircut.
        This accomplished, it's just a huge mall and without a specific purpose, I really have nothing to do here so head back outside to find a taxi back to my hotel.  The minute I exit the mall, I am pounced upon by some touts, private limo drivers.  I see that there is an actual metered taxi line but there are no taxis there and there are about 20 people in line with their purchases so I negotiate a rate and away we go to my hotel, or rather where he thinks it is.
        As we speed by the street that I recognize as the correct one to turn, we are caught up in construction and have to drive another 2 miles before we are able to turn around and return.  Then there is a policeman standing in my roundabout and won't let us make the left circle to my street.  Now we have to go another mile before we can make a left turn to work out way back to the hotel.  Just as the light changes for us to turn, flashing red lights come running through the other side and we are stopped as a motorcade runs through the intersection.  It is the ruler of Qatar in his limo with his flags of state flying on the car.  Wow, I got to see his driver anyway as the car flashed past us.
        What a day!  Falcons, oryx, emus, ostriches, hyenas, rich Qataris, shopping centers, security guards, and now the emir's driver.  It's been a delightful trip and now I am going to take a nap and wait for the time to leave for my 1:50 a.m. flight to meet my husband in Australia.
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