Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Big Mistake – Early Morning Eid in Doha

After all these years living here, I still have so much to learn.

Jet-lagging, wide awake and the sun is just up – it’s Eid, and I am betting that with everything closed, the roads will be mine.

Almost immediately after leaving the compound, I get the idea that I am very very wrong. Cars are racing past our entrance as if it were night-time, when I rarely drive if I can help it. There is a feeling of unrestrained energy in the driving, a release. As I circle the nearest roundabout, I watch two cars crash. One, a woman, is exiting the roundabout, the other, a man whose car was parked just outside the roundabout which is also outside the mosque, just drove right into one another. Neither would yield.

All this, and it is not even six in the morning. It’s kind of like everyone is up for sunrise service on Eid in Qatar.

But I really want to capture some of the early morning light. Not taking the hint, I head downtown, and traffic is heavy. I get to the old spit Where-Bandar-restaurants-used-to-be, and as soon as I exit the car, my camera lens fogs up and I have to wait for the camera to heat a little before I can shoot anything. Oh yeh – me and all the other camera-toting people with the same idea. I shoot The Pearl, and then I shoot a young man just coming from prayers with his very nice camera – a Nikon digital.

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The spit is crowded – everyone is there. Some guys in cars are just sitting there smoking in public, just because they can. Entire families are all out enjoying the breezy morning temperatures (LOL, in the 90’s Fahrenheit)

This is my absolute favorite shot:

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Actually, I love the water in this one, but I can’t take any credit for that.
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This one I call Scrambled Eggs, because there is so much going on, but it is definitely a Doha kind of chaos:
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This is taken where Al Rayyan Road begins, at the mouth of the entrance to Souq al Waqif, sheer chaos:
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And this is my own palm tree shooting out some new shoots – maybe it is a sign that winter is on its way?

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September 20, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Building, Doha, Eid, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Holiday, Living Conditions, Qatar | 5 Comments

The Worst is Over – Eid Mubarak!

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Last night, even early last night, we could hear the fireworks begin – a sure sign that the new crescent moon had been sighted and the long hot Ramadan was over.

Eid Mubarak, my Moslem friends.

I have been congratulating myself for not jet-lagging, but yesterday, after running errands in the hot humid heat of September in Doha, I was lagging, I don’t know if it was climate-lagging, or jet-lagging, but I napped and then I was still having a hard time staying awake until 9 last night. I slept HARD, it felt great. It felt great until about 3:30 this morning, when I could no longer sleep.

Since I no longer have that gorgeous sunrise coming up in front of my house, I decided to walk this morning, and at 90°F/33°C it is about the coolest it will be all day. I walked and walked, relishing the safety of the compound, where at 0400, there is not another soul in evidence until, near the gate, a guard comes out on his bicycle, making the hourly round. I felt so free.

I also felt so tired. Walking in the heat and humidity is hard work. My socks were soaked and my clothes were soaked by the time I finished. I came in, put the coffee on to brew and showered. I know today will also be loony, most stores closed, heavy traffic as people make their Eid calls on friends and family. The thing that gives me a grin – because I truly do not like exercise very much and I only do it because I want to live a long and healthy life – I know the worst part of my day is over (insh’allah!)

Here is a photo from the Peninsula of all the people out last night celebrating the end of Ramadan:

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September 20, 2009 Posted by | Cultural, Doha, Eid, Exercise, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Qatar, Ramadan | 6 Comments