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The most random thing just happened...

Doha, Qatar


I don't know how to describe it; comical, scary, coincidental. My plane lands at 6 something am in Doha, Qatar. My onward flight to Stockholm is tomorrow at 1am, so I have the whole day in Doha. An Indian guy named Najaf has offered me to come and feel like home in his apartment in central Doha. He leaves for work early, but has left the key under the doormat of the caretakers room. I take a taxi to Najaf's building and pick up the key. It's marked with the flat id so I easily find his apartment, take a shower and have some breakfast before I leave to explore Doha. I keep the key with me since Najaf has a spare. In the afternoon, the following SMS dialog takes place between Najaf and me:

N: I am leaving for my place now see you there
M: Ok, 'm on the bus.. 'll be there in maybe 30min.
[45 minutes later]
N: Where are you
M: At your place, watching tv. Where are u?
N: In my apartment, in which flat are you?
M: Flat c
N: Flat t at fifth floor!!

Yes that's right, I've been making myself at home in the wrong fracking apartment!! I get up to the correct flat, meet with Najaf and have some coffee, chat, etc. After around an hour we leave to go to the souk. Outside the house there's a man in his 50s, not sure from where, I'd guess eastern Europe. He's furious, yakking about having left his key under the doormat this morning for the cleaner to pick it up, but now the key is missing and he's tried to get hold of the cleaner for one hour. In fact, the key is still in my pocket. Najaf and I discretely place the key outside the caretaker's room and tell the man "There's a key on the ground here..." We quickly take off, thinking it's better not to be around when he realizes someone has been to his flat. I keep thinking I'm lucky the man didn't get home while I was showering or watching TV... situation could have been quite bad.

Apart from this incident, I try to see as much as possible of Doha today. In my opinion, it's very similar to other cities in the gulf, e.g. Manama, Abu Dhabi and Muscat, but even more boring. My favorite place is the Islamic Cultural Center where an albino Arab gives me a free personal tour of how ablution and prayer are done. During the siesta (1-4pm) I meet with Tunde, a Hungarian girl living here, and we stroll along the corniche and souk. It's sooo nice here, sunny and 23 C, corniche lined by palm trees.

In the evening, Najaf and I meet up with Dr Ahmed (Egyptian born and raised in Qatar) and Hin Yeong (Singaporean). I haven't had beer for 9 days, so we're determined to get some. There are a few bars here at the international hotels. We're first thrown out of Ramada because Dr Ahmed carries a knife, but at Sheraton we have more luck. It's a nice ending to this first part of my vacation. Around midnight, the trio drives me to the airport in Dr Ahmed's car. I fly to Stockholm at 1.10am.



permalink written by  bennedich on December 23, 2008 from Doha, Qatar
from the travel blog: Ukraine, Iraq, Iran, etc
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Hello Max,


oh that's my car there , hope you doing well , no e-mails from you so far


take care man


Mohammed /Erbil



permalink written by  Mohammed on March 6, 2009

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bennedich bennedich
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My name is Max. I like to travel.

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