Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Camping Qatari-style

I was speaking to one of my Qatari colleagues the other day about his plans for the weekend and he said that he was probably going to go camping with his friends. That sounded intriguing, I did not know young Qataris go camping in the desert, so I asked him more about camping in Qatar. The conversation kind of went something like this.

(me jokingly) " so how do you guys camp, a big tent with an air conditioner?"

"No, it's cool enough now that we don't need one, but we will have a generator"

"A generator? What for?"

"Well for the lights and the television."

"Television?! You guys are going to bring a television?"

"Yeah, one of my friends is going to bring one."

(laughing) "What, you guys have a satellite dish or something as well?"


"So why bring a television?"

"Well my friend had better bring one because I'm bringing my Xbox."

(laughing, then sarcastically) "Sounds like you guys are really roughing it! And do you have servants do the cooking for you as well?"

"One of my friends is looking for one to bring along."

"Huh . . . WHAT?! He is going to bring a servant?! What for??"

"For the cooking and cleaning. I don't have a problem with doing it myself but some of my friends don't know how to cook, so if only some of you are doing the cooking and cleaning it will just lead to arguments, in which case it is better to have someone else do it." . . . "and he can watch our stuff while we are away at the dunes."

"ummmmmm . . . let me get this straight. Camping = a big tent with a generator, a television with Xbox, and a servant doing all the cooking and cleaning."

"Yeah, it's fun."

I joked that setting up a tent on the beach of the 5-star Sharq Resort would be roughing it more -- you would have waiter service but not have electricity.

Is he pulling my leg? Maybe, but he is a decent guy and devout Muslim so is not the type who would usually make up extravagant lies as a practical joke. If anyone out there can verify the Qatari "camping" experience let me know. It sure is a heck of a lot different than what Canadians consider camping.


Global Obel said...

"Camping" in Kuwait is similar. I once went to a party at a desert camp. Complete with shwarma tent, deejay, dancefloor, disco-ball, portapotties the size of a small trailer, Persian carpets half the size of an olympic swimming pool, and believe it or not, an unlimited supply of Johnnie Walker Black (unfortunately, I don't care for whiskey!). Yep, JWB in a dry country... Go figure!?!

Glen McKay said...

According to my Kuwaiti colleague liquor is never in short supply there.

Amusing camping update, my coworker didn't like it because there was no shower. He has to have a shower! I wonder what the odler generations would make of that?