Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

PF Chang in SanDestin: A Much Needed Stop

After you’ve been married so many years, your mate knows exactly what buttons to push, and not just in bad ways.


“Hey! Look at the time! It looks like we’ll be near PF Changs for lunch!” said AdventureMan, pretending to be excited. Chinese food is comfort food to me, and he likes it OK, but he is relatively – relative to me – indifferent. And while PF Changs is pretty good, it is also good relative, relative to Pensacola, Navarre, Crestview, Niceville, Destin, Panama City – pretty good. It is a chain, and it is not San Francisco, or Seattle, or other cities where good Chinese food is sought after and valued.


So he feigns excitement, knowing I will happily eat at PF Changs, because relatively speaking, I am yearning for some good Chinese food.


We get there just as the Thanksgiving lunch crowd is beginning to head into the restaurants to take a break from shopping. We are happy; we can see many empty tables still. There are times this restaurant has been so packed that we have chosen to go elsewhere.


“It will be about ten to fifteen minutes before I can get you to a table,” the hostess says, bustling by and barely giving us a glance.


Oh oh. I can see AdventureMan’s testosterone level rising. But he has learned a lot in his years, so he tackles the problem nicely: “But I can see empty tables,” he says, and gestures to the large assortment of empty tables.

She seems annoyed to be interrupted in whatever her busy-ness was, and annoyed at being questioned.

“I have the tables,” she said shortly, “but I’ve had to call in extra staff to wait on them. They should start arriving shortly.”



The wait is actually short, and that welcome was the worst part of our meal, and not even that was so bad. Actually, AdventureMan and her had a nice chat while I wandered off to find the ladies room. When I came back, he had been seated, and we quickly ordered a big pot of tea and lunch. It arrived quickly, was hot and beautifully presented, and was delicious, seasoned by our hunger.

Our server was attentive and efficient without being intrusive. He made excellent suggestions and made sure our orders were customized – AdventureMan wanted his extra spicy, and he got lots of fabulous peppers. AdventureMan had Kung Pao Scallops and I had Spicy Chicken. We both had the Hot and Sour Soup, which we thought was pretty good.

I think his was better . . .


I am thankful for a lunch at PF Changs AND I am yearning for Seattle, and the countless places to get authentic and tasty Chinese food.

November 30, 2013 Posted by | Customer Service, Eating Out, Food, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Pet Peeves, Restaurant, Road Trips, Thanksgiving | Leave a comment

Qatar Fields Huge New Traffic Force

This is from, reprinted from Gulf News. I think I is a very cool website, and I am thankful they continue to send me updates:  🙂


A BIG Wooo HOOOOO on Qatar for training and implementing a PROFESSIONAL traffic force. Woooo HOOOOO! I can only hope the laws they will enforce include children in the back seats in car seats and seat belts for every passenger. I pray that part of the training included instructions that traffic rules are to be applied equally and fairly against all nationalities, including citizens.


A new highway patrol police force that will augment the efforts of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) in improving road safety will start work in 2014, it was announced at the graduation of the first batch of the force.

Consisting of 50 officers and cadets, the graduation ceremony of the first batch was held at the headquarters of the Traffic Department. The training programme was implemented by the Northwestern University, Chicago.

The team has received specialised training in enforcing traffic laws and booking common violations like tailgating, use of mobile phones, exceeding speed limits and not wearing seat belts.

The officers also acquired advanced skills in investigation of accidents, modern methods to interrogate drivers, preservation of evidence and making specialised reports on accidents.

According to Traffic Department officials, the new force will use both radar and lidar, a device used to monitor speed using laser.

The officers were also trained on skills needed to manually control traffic flow and its mechanisms in addition to the use of tools and methods for data collection.

The initiative was organised in collaboration between the Ministry of Interior and RasGas in the context of the priority given by the MoI and the National Committee for Traffic Safety (NCTS) to ensure responsible and safe driving.

The graduation ceremony was attended by Traffic Department director Brig Mohamed Saad al-Kharji, NCTS secretary Brig Mohamed Abdullah al-Maliki, traffic safety adviser at MoI Ademola Ilori and Brett Doherty, safety, health, environment & quality chief officer, RasGas.

Speaking on the occasion, al-Kharji said that the new force would support the MoI’s efforts in road safety.

“The new force will monitor and enforce road safety measures on highways. It includes monitoring speed limit, keeping space between vehicles and handling accidents and emergency situations.”

He added that the trainees got theoretical and practical lessons on controlling traffic movement on highways, safe parking and stopping of vehicles on highways as well as training on dealing with the public.

Speaking on the sidelines, al-Kharji said that there was a plan to equip traffic police vehicles with speed radars so they could catch violators while on the move.

He thanked RasGas for its collaboration with the MoI in this initiative and said the move would play a proactive role in reducing traffic accidents.

Al-Maliki said that the initiative came as part of NCTS and thanked RasGas and Northwestern University for their support for the initiative.

He awarded trainees with certificates and exchanged mementos with RasGas and Northwestern University. Gifts and appreciation certificates were awarded for lecturers and translators.

Others present on the occasion were RasGas public affairs manager Abdulla Hashim, Security & Emergency services manager Faisal al-Hajiri, road safety adviser John Cling, safety systems head Jive Price, road safety training head at Northwestern University, Antony Patila.


November 30, 2013 Posted by | ExPat Life, Law and Order, Qatar, Road Trips, Safety | , , , | Leave a comment