19 hours Layover in Doha

I quit.

Not my job and life, but my geographical location. My jobs were never a vocation, and my life is what I live every single day, nevertheless to change my habitat I missed the courage.. until now.
I change (or better said evolve) all the time; I’m more and more myself and connect with people on a healthy(er) way. I have no idea where and what and how, just go with the flow, and wonder every day how fun and simple life is.

The first step was to get my flight tickets, then the first day of the journey was pretty surreal. I’m obviously not prepared for all this, and so many things happened in 48 hours that I have to share.

I flew with Qatar Airways. Pilots and plans just come and go, but what was left is a 19 hours transfer. To enjoy somehow this long layover, I used the actual promotion with a free hotel + transfer (it’s always worth to check for promos at the airlines, you never know).
No need to mention that I flew during Mercury Retrograde again, that spiced up the flight.
The first thing I had to face was pretty shameful; while boarding I overheard racist, arrogant, and primitive some people are (especially when they think no one understands their language around). I didn’t get involved, but believe Karma does its job.
The second event was a typical going viral cabin drama. Two women (mother) yelled at each other, louder and louder with every sentence, then one of them wanted to call the pilot and at last the police. The crew tried to calm down the nerves, and (of course) nothing happened at the end. Seriously people have not a better thing to do than provoking attention?
The landing, that felt like the captain just woke up from his nap and grabbed the wheel like “damn I almost missed the exit”, just added the icing on the cake.

I landed in Doha around midnight, it took about 1,5 hours to get through immigration, find the hotel transfer and then wait ‘till the minibus leaves. I wanted to watch the sunrise, but as I got to bed at 2 am, waking up at 5 am was totally unrealistic.
As I woke up late (damn, that king size bed was so good) I had only 5 hours to explore the city. I visited the three famous Doha places, and if you’ve seen them, you’ve seen everything.

I started at the Souq Waqif as I really had to find something to eat. When I got out of the air-conditioned car, that 45 degrees punched me hard in the face. Wow. I haven’t experienced this kind of dry and stifling hotness before, it really felt like arriving in hell. After 5 minutes I was not hungry anymore, just wanted to drink water and survive; I only bought 2 simple but really delicious cakes in a bakery.

During daytime the market looks like a ghost town; the shops and restaurants are open (just hard to see it as everything is closed to keep the air con inside), but only a few labourers do nothing on the streets.
I have a thought to this: I always wonder when I see men sitting in the middle of nowhere doing nothing (e.g. next to a highway or roundabout). So the question.. what did they smoke, or at least what are they doing there, and how did they get there, and why? It always seems bit nonsense (despite it usually has an explanation), but it’s interesting just thinking about what kind of life path they have.

From the souq I walked to the Museum Of Islamic Art; it’s actually no distance, but pretty challenging under these weather conditions. The museum was pretty much out of my interest, so I just walked around and enjoyed the architecture and the air-conditioning.

After I got back my normal body temperature, I called an Uber and headed to the Katara Cultural Village (just another ghost town by day) to let be disappointed by this:

The Pigeon Towers look bigger in photos, and honestly, the Katara Masjid next to it looks more beautiful with its mosaics.

Actually, I finished my Doha tour (also have seen the biggest key of the world), so just needed a lunch, then leaving this purgatory behind (seriously, it was super-hot).
I chose the Ard Canaan, where I had a freekeh (roasted wheat with chicken stock and spices), then a mansaf. As I said my order the waiter started shaking his head that “no no no”. I got confused, so asked him about his reaction, and the situation ended with the chef at my table. Mansaf is lamb, cooked in fermented dried yogurt, that’s also served on the side. I knew this, but somehow they didn’t believe it, so brought me a tasting to make it sure. This situation was funny but overreacted. The lunch was nice and tasty, but nothing amazing, and if we add how expensive the country is, totally not worth it.

While I was waiting for my Uber, I walked to the Katara Beach. It was pretty gross, and I had the feeling that even the sand on the beach in Doha is boring (first time in my life I didn’t even collect sand as a souvenir).

The way to the airport was in a rush because of the road constructions (I also missed my hotel transfer, so needed another Uber), and because I definitely needed a cold shower before the flight. At the airport everything went smooth, I also had the time to think about: why did Urs kill Teddy with a lamp?

Maybe it’s just me, but I am so unimpressed by Doha; it wants to kill you with climate and boringness for no special reason. Desert, shopping malls, expensive life and guest workers. Have I missed something? I don’t want to be offensive or judgy with Qatar, but there’s so much more to life that money can’t buy.

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