Friday, December 05, 2008

mustachio and beard face

I was just curious what I would look like with a mustache & beard....now I know.


Monday, December 01, 2008

sand for days

This is the land of sand, camels, insane wealth from oil/natural gas and obvious signs of becoming more and more western. The same guy who owns a camel farm and has 4 wives will also have 2 Ferrari's and probably own a Starbucks or a Hagen daaz.
This is Sema who is married to an old Johnston Island friend of mine I ran into randomly here. She is a professional photographer here in Qatar and she took all these pictures on this post. Sema is also from the town in Turkey I was born in. We have these things in common but we have never met!




The Old Souqs and one of my favorite places in Doha





These are not on every corner yet but I thinks that's where its heading...

























Thursday, November 27, 2008

Good Job Obama

Obamas big win was celebrated with my friends Ali, Afsar and JoJo. They are from Bangladesh & the Philippines and they were very very happy that Obama won.

In the words of Afsar "Obama good for world"

When I asked the guys how we should celebrate Afsar & Ali decided that we should have Dairy Queen dinner with sugar free energy drinks (because Afsar is diabetic) and talk about Obama.

So that's what we did....while we were eating I asked them what they new about Obama and while none of us new much, it was a funny conversation that was done mostly in broken english with some Tagalog, Arabic and Bangla mixed in.

This is Afsar having dairy queen dinner with Obama Afsar, Jo Jo in red and Ali

This has nothing to do with Obama or Dairy Queen...this is what I look like when I am to tired to swim but really really want to...at least I am at the pool.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

why not go by camel?

In the land where camels are still used daily I have rented myself a car.

I don't know how much a monthly car rental in the states is but I think it would be expensive. Here you can rent one for $500 a month and that includes all the insurance and unlimited mileage. Its much quicker, smells better and has better air conditioning than these smelly old camels! If I do end up staying here beyond January I think I will end up buying a car. It would be my first car in 10 years!!

These pictures were actually taken in Bagram Afghanistan and not Qatar...we don't have mountains but we do have lots of camels!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My life in lightbulbs


seriously...light bulbs. who in their normal life even thinks about light bulbs for more than 2 minutes a year?

I can honestly say I have spent hours, seriously hours thinking, talking and writing emails about about light bulbs since I have been here in the bright shiny desert.
Here is the 30 step process that I went through to get light bulbs and I am happy tell you that after completing those frustrating 30 steps and 6 months of waiting well....the light bulbs are here. VICTORY!!! The lights are now back on!!!

Steps to get light bulbs:

1. I am told by manager to go get a bunch of light bulbs for recreation center
2. ask around and find out that light bulbs live at a place called Self Help
3. Go to self help and ask for light bulbs
4. Listen as they tell you they will give you 5 light bulbs only
5. kindly explain that the facility I am trying to replace them in has 416 light bulbs
6. Am told that to get more than 5 bulbs at one time I need to to the engineering office and fill out form # 332
7. I find the engineering office and ask for form 332
8. I fill out form 332 and am told our manager has to sign them
9. I take the filled out form and head back to our part of town to track down my manager
10. I get the managers signature and return to the engineering office
11. The engineers review my form and they approve it
12. I leave the engineering office with my approved, signed form
13. I now take my approved form back to self help in hopes of now getting the light bulbs
14. I am told to leave the form there to be reviewed by self help. If the form is approved they will contact me to pick up the light bulbs
15. I wait 1 week and don't hear back

16. I return to Self help and ask the status of my light bulb order
17. I wait patiently while 22 year old self help guy insists that he emailed a military guy who he thought was me about picking up the light bulbs
18. I explain that I am not the military guy that the guy is insisting he emailed about the order
19. I finally convince mr 22 year old that I am a separate light bulb order from military guy
20. I watch as 22 year old finds my original order
21. I take deep breaths as 22 year old explains that the form was not signed in the correct location by the engineers
22. I don't bother to ask why they could not have told me that last when when I dropped off the form
23. I take the form back to the engineering office to get signed again
24. I listen patiently as the guy who is supposed to sign the form explains that they don't need his signature again
25. I smile really big and ask him to just sign in it anyway
26. I take double signed form back to self help and let 22 year old approve it again
27. I say thank you as he says 'we let you know something in a couple of weeks'
28. I leave self help assured that we will never see another light bulb again
29. I drive back to rec center thinking of ways to get solar energy to the video games, televisions and computers

30. VICTORY!!! 6 months later, I was able to pick up 178 light bulbs. Now if I could just get the other 300+ that are needed for the facility. No matter...this feels like a victory in the world of the reddest tape possible.





Its about time!!!!

Its been a long time since I posted anything on the site...

personal time seems to be non existent for me here in the giant sandbox. I can honestly say that I am very OVER having to work 84 hours per week. When you break it down after 12+ hours a day of work, 7 of sleep..that doesn't leave much for eating, showering, swimming, or anything extra.

I am actively on the job search and really really really want to find a job that I LOVE and care about. Something that seems to matter....

Here are some recent pictures of life in Doha
These are the old souks and probably my favorite place (except the beach) that I have been here in Doha.


This is the Qatar flag
Hard to tell much on the map but Doha is about half way down on the right. For perspective it only takes an hour or so to drive across the entire country.

34 floors up, a city view

While I was 34 floors up, I found a pool!!

The city at night
This is the City Center mall which is HUGE!!


Ramadan was the month of September and then the festival of EID was 3 days in October. This was my first Ramadan and I wanted to learn one new thing a day during Ramadan. Did you know that many Muslims don't allow their dogs to sleep in their beds? I didn't know that...It was cool to learn about it and something I really knew nothing about.
I still don't have any idea why all the religions fight with each other. Why is one religion better than another? Why don't Jewish people like Muslim people? Why do many Americans think Muslims are all crazy? I have no idea and I really think that would prevent me from ever picking an official religion.
I really do like seeing it all for myself and I have met people from so many religions that I both really like and also think are completely crazy.



Friday, October 03, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Getting a driving liscense!

I recently took my newly received Qatari residency and went to get a drivers licence.

Now...keep in mind that I really have not driven much in the past 10 years and that driving here is like Mad Max style. Seems like a smart idea huh?

So the driving "laws" here are much more like "ideas" than actual laws. They did not even have a licence program until 1986...so things are still in the "being worked out phase".

Regardless, off 4 of us went.

Step 1: You stand in line to visit type writer guy, however he speaks no English. So..you go back outside to find somebody outside who speaks Arabic. We were prepared and had brought a local guy named Ahmet with us. After typewrite guy and Ahmet worked out the cost then typewriter guy wrote our Arabic names on his 1953 model typewriter and shoo'ed us out of the building. Step 2: you go to a non marked little building with the most disgusting bathrooms this side of Calcutta to get your eyes tested.

Step 3: Once they determine that it makes no difference if you can see or not, they give you another form in Arabic

Step 4: You take all of your forms to yet another building that actually looks like a DMV. Common sense would say that you pick up a numbered ticket and wait for your turn. So the 4 of us Westerners did that but Ahmet decided that wasn't his plan and pushed his way through the line. 20 minutes later the 4 of us had Qatari driving license in our hand.

Now if they would just make a road map of the city...

When worlds merge!

In the past month, I have run into 3 different people from my time in the Pacific islands. I love when your worlds merge!

I had one guy come up to me here in Qatar and ask if I rememberd him, I said no and then he told me that he was in a band that I had hired to come out to Johnston Island about 7 years ago!
This is a picture of friends from the Marshall Islands. Great to see Danny the "Ahi Slayer" out here in the sandstorm!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

22456

22456 is the miles i flew on my vacation. apparently Doha is not close to anything.

The trip took me to the Bahamas for a stay at the super duper fancy Atlantis resort. Then to Oregon for some family time and a quick trip the country fair. Dad getting his cherry picking on!
me and tree man at the country fair
one of the best parts of the country fair are all the random parades that come through. If you dont know about the fair check out http://www.oregoncountryfair.org

Voodoo donuts in Portland is I think somewhat famous..you can get donuts that have bacon on them or coated in tang. You can also buy underpants and get married there!

good times with the family
great tree people at the fair
what i look like in multiples!


this was this was the view from our hotel room in the Bahamas



Mom & Dad on the BBQ!!


So...I am now back in Qatar...stay tuned for more from the sandbox