Monday, June 29, 2015

Ramadan 2015, Day 11 – Garangao Preparation and Another Sohour

In Qatar the 14th night of Ramadan is a holiday called Garangao, where children dress up in traditional clothes and go door-to-door singing songs. The kids then receive candies and nuts from the household. It’s has some similarities to Halloween in North America except the kids do not dress up in costumes and Garangao does not have any association with spooky themes like witches, ghosts and so forth.

So Souq Waqif has been busy with Qataris shopping at the candy stores, stocking up for Garangao.

Typically people give the children handfuls of small candies and nuts so you need a lot of supplies. These wheelbarrows are full of Garangao shopping.

Nowadays Doha is a big city so many kids go to organized Garangao activities rather than wander the neighbourhood going door-to-door. I’ll try to get out to one if I can.


Last night was another sohour buffet, this time at the W Hotel.

They had a great selection of sushi so right off the bat I was happy. And they had traditional Turkish ice cream (dondurma), a thick, gummy ice cream. It’s fantastic stuff. In the end I ate too much as usual but the food was great. There was no way to even try it all.

So another night where I did not eat a 3am meal. Too stuffed from the W.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Ramadan 2015, Day 10 – More Mall Walking (with Gulf Mall update)

[latest update on Gulf Mall is August 14th, you can find it here]

Last week I said I’d try to avoid doing daytime mall walking on the weekends because I was feeling a little lightheaded yet here I was on Saturday doing the same thing. It’s really just to distract myself, it is a real struggle just to sit at home all day and not reach into a cupboard for a snack, you have to keep yourself busy. So I decided to go to Gulf Mall and Ezdan Mall in the afternoon and walk around, see if anything new has opened at Gulf Mall.

As it was the afternoon some shops were open but not any restaurants of course. Lulu Hypermarket across the street was packed with shoppers buying groceries.

In Gulf Mall it looks like more places at the food court are open or about to open, such as the KFC and Fatburger.

While IHOP looked ready it had a work order pasted on the door, I guess it’ll still be a little longer – I’m guessing after Ramadan. [August 14 update, still not open]

Shake Shack and the Lei Wei (P.F. Chang brand) were not even close to opening.

Over at Ezdan Mall they take Ramadan a bit more seriously than other malls. They had an area prepared for what I think were religious lectures (with convenient barriers separating the men’s and ladies seating.

And a separate kids area being prepared for Garangao next week.

After that it was back to the Ramadan Cannon where I met up with some friends, I brought dates, crackers, nuts and water for iftar, they brought some shwarmas, so it was win-win all around.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Ramadan 2015, Day 9 - Ramadan Car Parade

Every day during Ramadan around 5pm people get in their cars and do an impromptu parade along the Corniche (near West Bay). I think it stems from bored people cruising around in cars waiting for iftar time and it's now become an event where lots of Qataris show off their new cars, vintage cars, or just weird vehicles.

Many people go to the Corniche with cameras to take pictures.

Expensive cars

Colourful cars

Vintage cars

Unusual cars (for Qatar anyway)

Motorcycles and scooters

Sometimes groups with the same type of car would get together and go down the road slowly or form a line

In times past matte paint jobs were in, this year black is in vogue

The police try to crack down on kids hanging out of the vehicles but old habits die hard.

You should be able to catch the Corniche Car Show every day during Ramadan from around 4:30-6:00.