Friday, October 03, 2008


So right now I am in the middle of the Eid holiday, celebrating the end of Ramadan. We get three days off of work so combine that with the weekend and I'm off for five days. Most times I take advantage of the holiday to go on a trip but this time I'm staying put here in Qatar. I left it a little late to book a trip and the prices got ridiculous because everyone in the region travels during Eid. Flights to Europe were generally over $1000, and hotels in the Middle East tend to crank their prices, so I figured I would stay put for once and see what Qatar does for Eid.

Apparently not much. For Qataris the holiday is a time to visit relatives, it is not one of those holidays where people have parades and things like that. So generally things are quiet. Thankfully friends are here as well so there have been things to do like barbecues, dinners, and a Pakistani colleague of mine is having an Eid party tonight. So my days have been spent doing errands and chilling out and in the evenings I go out to the dinners etc.

So with Ramadan over things will start getting back to normal around here again. Restaurants will be open at normal hours and now I will be able to go out and have lunch again. Not that I will too often as I plan to go to the gym at lunchtime instead to start to work off the weight. It is weird that during Ramadan I think you tend to eat more because in the evenings there are all these big buffets and stuff like that, and it is difficult to exercise during the day because you should not be drinking anything, even water, in public. Eat more, exercise less -- bad combination.

Unfortunately the traffic is going to be bad again as well. During Ramadan locals work reduced hours because they are fasting so rush-hour is much less hectic. Chances are starting on Sunday my commute time will have increased from about 20 minutes to 40. That is life in Doha.

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