a day in Arabia

I set the alarm wrong.
Luckily they call me from the reception. I don’t sleep anymore but have to make a few faster movements. Hotel staff has made me pack-breakfast and a gift. How sweet. Then there’s small confusion with a beer that I’m supposed to have drunk from the fridge but I clearly remember that I went looking for the beer and wondered that they have an alcohol-free minibar.
The taxi driver takes me to the wrong terminal. I’m not the only one who has to walk to terminal two. Then I have to eat the breakfast because I probably wouldn’t fit through luggage control with it.
In the plane there’s a movie about how to be homeless and four Qatari short movies.
In Doha everybody goes to the transfer zone, only I continue along broad empty and shining corridors to immigration. Get a sticker in my passport, no visa fee. No-one is interested in me; even the hotel hasn’t sent a car. So then there’s taxi. Taxis are cheap here.
Internet says that Doha is the most boring city in the world.
The people on the streets are covered in big bed sheets instead of towels around their waist. There’s space between cars and the streets are clean. If you don’t pay any attention to flying plastic bags. Glass towers in fog and some houses with lace on the roof. This now was a very abrupt transition.
I take the laptop to the hotel and go to the Museum of Islamic Art. It is visible right around the corner of the hotel; I only have to cross a building site. Cool wind. In the museum guns and vessels are exhibited, everything nicely carved. People should do more art instead of killing each other. Then is Moroccan tea in silver jug, accompanied by two dates.
I haven’t been to an Arab country before if you don’t count a day in Tangier. In Islamic countries indeed, in Turkey and Persia. I remember some Arabic letters.
I stroll along Corniche and end up in the port where it is possible to take pictures of fishermen and meet the cat. Looking for the souq I find some camels. The camel-man invites me into the fold so that I could touch the animals. I’m not very much into touching them but if invited then I do it. Camel is soft. In souq I first find horses and then a labyrinth where people bustle around and it smells good. A procession of some kind makes music. I eat two crepes that are made on the street corner and then some decent food. Now the wind is chilly. Very good.
The way back is recognizable by a twisted tower. The building site is dark, luckily the hotel has name on the roof. I climb over a fence when a man approaches and yells ‘hello, hello’. He’s on the phone.
To the hotel for shower and Icelandic vocabulary. Doha is not a bad place for stretching one’s legs. The airport has no left luggage service. It is possible to leave luggage in a lounge but the staff doesn’t like it when the customer then leaves the airport. Besides, it is complicated to get to the immigration from transit zone. The cheaper hotels cost as much so it is more comfortable to go to a hotel for left luggage, shower and a nap.
last day

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