Stray Observations

This past week I have been busy with classes and a full schedule of activities over the weekend; thus, I didn’t have time to write an extensive blog post. Still, I want to maintain my weekly blogging streak. So instead, I will post a list of stray observations from my experiences last week.

  • I have been in Doha now for almost 7 months now, and during this time, there have been two mass shootings. When my students here say that America seems unsafe because of guns, I can only agree with them.
  • A colleague wants me to write a play script or a screenplay. I have to write dialogue for two scenes: a dinner conversation between a couple from different cultures and a walk & talk conversation (e.g. Slacker or Before Sunrise) between two people. We’ll see if my colleague and I can calibrate and collaborate on a project.

  • If you are in Doha and want to sit outside and smoke shisha, I would recommend smoking shisha at locations in Souq Waqif, not the Pearl. The shisha at the Pearl seems harsher on the lungs.
  • I attended a Red Bull drifting competition over the weekend. What surprised me the most about the event was 1) parking was free and 2) the event was free as well. In the US, I would expect to pay for one or the other or both. Also, security at the end of the event was laughable. Everyone wanted to rush the field to join in the merriment after the competition, so they did. Security didn’t seem to care. Everyone wanted to take pictures from inside of the cars of the finalists, so they did. The drivers didn’t seem to care. (If you want to watch the winning drive from the competition, click here.)
  • On the last day of the weekend, I convinced some colleagues to go kayaking with me, and they happily obliged. We drove an hour north of Doha into another city in order to reach the launching point. This was my first time seeing another city/town in Qatar. Kayaking was amazing, got to see wild flamingos and other costal birds. I will probably explore other regions of Qatar in the near future.
  • Yesterday, I had a funny cultural miscommunication. An acquaintance invited me to his place at 5pm. I thought I was going there for dinner. I arrived promptly, and we had tea and snacks. “Maybe dinner would be served later,” I thought. I waited and waited. He then provided me with Amlou and Moroccan bread. Ok, maybe dinner would be much later. It was getting close to 9pm! Around 9:30pm, I couldn’t wait any longer and was going to excuse myself. My host came out in his pajamas at which point I thanked him for his hospitality and said that I had to leave. No problem. I checked the WhatsApp message that we shared, and all that was agreed upon was getting together for coffee, not dinner. I’m not sure why I thought dinner was part of the engagement. Maybe it was wishful thinking.

That’s all folks! Until next week.

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