Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lazy Friday

I forgot to mention that my birthday was a little while ago. Not a big deal really, birthdays were never a big celebration in my family so I don't take my birthday that seriously (for us Christmas was the big family holiday). As we got older we would e-mail or otherwise send birthday wishes to one another, and if we were around take them out to dinner. Mom was the exception, her birthday was Christmas Day, and we would always make sure that she got separate birthday presents as well as Christmas presents, as well as a nice cake with candles at dinner. (As an aside, if you know someone who's birthday lies very close to Christmas, and you plan to get them a gift, I recommend not giving them a "combination" birthday/Christmas present.) Most times I don't even mention to people when my birthday is.

This year a few friends knew that it was my birthday so we decided to go out for dinner to Souq Waqif later in the week, a couple of days after my birthday. I never turn down a nice dinner! So I arrived at my friends' house earlier that afternoon to watch a movie when they surprised me -- their whole family came out of the kitchen with a chocolate cake, complete with candles, and a present! I was not expecting that at all and was completely taken aback, especially since my birthday had been a couple of days ago.

Wasn't that sweet of them? When I think about it I can't really remember the last time I had a birthday cake, certainly not in the last five or six years, and despite my earlier spiel about birthdays not being a big deal I felt grateful that they had taken the time to get a cake for me. I think there is an old saying along the lines of unexpected surprises being the most pleasant, and this was no exception.


I know I just mentioned eating cake and going out for dinner but despite that I am actually on a diet. Really, honest! It turns out a few of the other guys in the office also wanted to lose some weight so we all agreed to sign up to the gym on the first floor of our office tower and go there every lunch hour. We started this week and so far so good as I went three lunch hours (missed one because I was supposed to be going to Dubai so I didn't bring my gym bag, see previous blog entry) and I plan to go all five lunch hours next week. Going to the gym to exercise is easier when there are other people expecting you to do it. Hopefully we can keep this up for at least a few months.


In regards to my last post about countries requiring exit permits a friend of mine mentioned that he had looked into it and as far as he knows only Saudi Arabia and Qatar have exit permit requirements for foreign workers living there. I still bet that North Korea has some sort of exit permit system in place, it is just that they don't really have many foreign workers living there and many of those who are there were kidnapped by them back in the 70s, so I'm willing to bet they would need some kind of government permission to leave the country. Anyway, isn't it weird that there are probably only a handful of countries that still have this requirement?


Nothing much else happening today, just another lazy Friday in Doha. I think the Rugby Club next door is having a barbecue this afternoon so I might go just to have one burger. Just one. After that I'll just hang around until the stores are open in the evening as I need some new dress shirts, as well as an extra towel and gym shorts for the above-mentioned workouts. Later.

1 comment:

Magnus said...

Happy birthday, man.