Doha Life and a bit of Crazyness in Bahrain !!

Trip Start May 26, 2006
Trip End Jan 2007

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hi Guys,

This is two entries in one with lots of photos to follow:

Living the Life in Doha

Since the "trauma" of our apartment nearly falling down and having to spend 7 nights in the 5 star grand Regency Hotel then moving into a new home in a great location, life in Doha has been going along splendidly.
Yes, it is hot however I am defiantly making the most of my time here. I don't mind the heat at all, mainly because whenever you are inside the air conditions is so cold you need to spend at least 10 minutes outside just to thaw out! So the two jumpers I brought over have come in handy.
I have been hear for 2 months now and time is flying, I'm getting use to the little differences you notice when you spend enough time in a country, some are great others a bit strange, so to keep you entertained I have listed my top ten things to look out for in Doha:

- Crazy Driving with no indicators whilst talking on the phone (police included)

- The fact that the 50 roundabouts in Doha take a bit of getting use to; 3 lanes of traffic into 2 lanes around the roundabout then back to 3 on the other side, again with no indicators.

- Drive up to the front of any takeaway food shop, juice bar or restaurant and honk your car horn continually until someone comes out to serve you!

- Go to an aerobics class at the gym and have 25 people start the class and after 5min have half the class leave, chat over the music or sit on the floor and talk on their mobile phones!

- Being able to sit at my desk and be bought Tea, Coffee or Iced Frappe's by our office 'tea boy' (they are so lovely)

- Having just about all types of food including Burger King delivered to you desk in the middle of the day!

- The fact that I have to apply for an "Alcohol permit" to be able to purchase alcohol from the one bottle shop/distribution centre in Doha (we make it a monthly trip and stock up, it's a bit different to dropping past the shop on your way home to get a bottle of wine, I'm on rations!)

- Swarmmes/kebabs in every food shop(I LOVE IT)

- Construction, Construction, Construction, Road Works, Road Works and more Road Works
And Lastly

- Paying 32 Ryial for a tank of petrol!!!!!!!!! that is about $11Aus

Everything else here is going really well am defiantly enjoying the experience although at time things can be frustrating, but that is all part of living in another country. So life outside of work has been hectic to say the least there is always something to do if you up for it, which is good and keeps me occupied.

The World Cup was pretty big as I'm sure it was in most places around the World, that filled in a few nights at the pub, i actually watched a few games and started to learn the rules (Sport and me that is something new, any excuse to go out really)but now that it is over i have gone back to my non-sporting ways until the next bandwagon i need to jump on!

The food hear is great there are so many different restaurants to try to, Im slowly making my way through those, also cooking up a storm in my kitchen, dinner parties are a weekly event in our apartment building.

A few house parties have been had as well with the most memorable a house warming Villa party with Mexican theme, lots of Tequlia and Karkore not always a good mix! but lots of fun. We have also been trying to venture to the few different bars they have hear and lets just say it can be quiet an experience, we are nearly out of new options but defiantly not bored yet. (See Photos)

That is life to the minute in Doha, so my next entries will be on my travels I have a few trips planned so I'm sure i will have some stories.......

***** Carzyness in Bahrain ******

13th - 15th July 2006#

Bahrain. Great way to spend a Birthday!

After nearly 2 months in Doha it was time to get out and see something new (for at least a weekend anyway) My friend Nanine decided for her Birthday she wanted to do something different, so why not head to Bahrain! After not much planning and lots of excited emailing back and forth to organize in a week, eight of us decided to help celebrate and make it a bit of party weekend in Bahrain.

Flights Booked (Check)... Hotel Booked (Check).... Work finished for the week (Check)... Thursday night and we were packed and ready to fly. The other six girls had caught an earlier flight so after a quiet drink at home Edwina and I headed off to the airport ready for the weekend ahead. After looking in the one duty free shop at Doha International Airport we boarded our flight and with an air time of about 29 minutes we arrived in Bahrain, it would have to have been the quickest flight I have ever been on, seems very odd to be on an international flight that last only 29 minutes! Takes me longer to get to work back home!!

I didn't realised how accustomed I had become to the sights and sounds of Doha until I arrived in Bahrain, driving from the airport to our hotel it took me a while to work out what was so different about this city. 1. NO CONSTRUCTION, every corner in Doha is in a bit of kaos with the new buildings going up, building coming down and the widening of roads, 2. TREES & GRASS, not everywhere, not even that much, but enough on the trip from the airport to notice. I like this place so far!

Whilst still trying to work out our money and how much we had taken out of the ATM we arrived at the lovely Sheraton Hotel (Damm the ONE hotel under minor construction) we paid the driver what he had asked for and hoped for the best. The Hotel was great, all the girls had settled in, been out for dinner, and were having a few champers to start the night off. So bags down, quick change (we didn't need to cover up hear so that was also a novelty) and a few cheeky Vodkas in the room after all it was Nanine's Birthday eve.

Note: if you are reading this to get a bit of a feel for Bahrain as a city and a place to visit as a tourist; culture, tourist attractions, history ect, you should probably stop reading hear.

The weekend consisted of a few quiet drinks in a number of local establishments around Bahrain, well maybe more than a few. We had been given a number of recommendations of place to visit while we were hear, all bars of course, so we wanted to tick as many off the list as possible, the main reason for this is after two months in Doha with, shall we say limited number of nightlife locations, it was fantastic to go out to new places and not know 90% of people in the bar.

The first place on the list was BJ's a traditional English pub/club, the minute we walked in all 8 sets of eyes lit up reading the sign "LADIES DRINK FOR FREE EVERY NIGHT except Thursday"
After realizing it was a Thursday, and being slightly disappointed, we continued on our night (Making a mental note of the 'every night but Thursday' for next time) The night went well into the morning with us ending up in a dance club called Liquid, techno music, strobe lighting and shots at the bar all getting a bit much when we hadn't been out for a while. So after stopping for food on the way home, as you do, Edwina and I gave up on the walking and hailed a cab waving to rest of the girls who were intent on walking the ten minutes home (Still at least 36 degree outside temp, walk not me!)

Saturday - The B'day
Sleeping well into the day to ward off the hangovers we all jumped out of bed ready for another day in Bahrain. As it was the day of Nan's Bday we had booked ourselves into the Crown Plaza for their 'Friday Champagne Brunch' now anything with an all you can eat buffet and endless supply of Champagne could not be bad, and we were not disappointed. Arriving at 12.30 we were like kids in a candy shop, the buffet was amazing everything you could think of and to top it off - BACON!!!!! & HAM!!!!!!! This might sound a bit sad but when it is the one food you cannot buy in Doha we all went a bit mad with it.

The day rolled on from there with endless plates of food and never empty glasses of champagne. We had an absolute ball, the place had a magic man who came to the table to entertain us with tricks and balloon animals, creating a very "interesting" monkey balloon hat that, as the bday girl Nanine had to wear for the remained of the day. We also discovered a face painter who was there to entertain the kids, US, so all got our faces painted we then continued our afternoon having a sign-along with the band man who was playing all our requests, what more could you want on your birthday?

After leaving when all the food had been cleared away and the singer was sick of signing for us, we spent the rest of the afternoon lazing/sleeping by the pool. Then it was out on the town again this time after some more food and drinks at an Irish Pub we headed to BJ's for OUR FREE DRINKS well sort of free. We each paid 2Drm which is 20Qatria Ryial, about $8 Aus so about 3Pound, for all sprits all night, not a bad deal at all. We didn't need to visit any others pub on our list. We spent the night dancing and having a ball till the lights came on at 2, then it was next door to the 'Traditional Chipper' for some late night chips while we waited for a taxi.

My last day in Bahrain was very productive! Sleep, eat, pool, tan, eat, fly! Sighseeing wise all i saw was the Palace on the way to the Airport, but didnt mind at all we knew we would be back. For our last meal we went straigt to the English pub for a drink and a meal just to top off the weekend, then it was back tot the Airport 2 hours prior to flying for our 29min flight home.
Sad and tired we arrived back in Doha, already working out when we could book our next trip!
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