I had my first real morale trip to downtown Doha on Sunday. With me were Austin, Steve, Steven, and Joel. And with all the long hours and pressure at work, we were all long overdue.
Our first stop was the Villagio Mall, which is basically like any given mall in the States. Joel is the only one whose home station is stateside, so the rest of us seemed to appreciate it a little more. And even though we could have eaten at Macaroni Grill, TGI Friday's, or McDonald's, we each opted to pick up cuisine of a more local flavour. (My falafel wrap was particularly scrumptious.)
After lunch, shopping, and ice skating (I know, right?), we headed across town to the souqs. The souqs are the old-style middle Eastern markets like you'd see in the movies, and they're divided into two areas. The first spot we hit concentrated more on gold and jewelry, with a few random trinkets here and there. The second area of souqs had everything from spices and nuts to clothing to musical instruments. And it seemed to go on forever. We mostly just walked around, stopping in random shops, and for a little while at an outdoor cafe to smoke a hooka. For dinner, we grabbed some pita bread made right in front of us in a round stone oven.
Sorry I don't have any pictures, but I'm here for another four months, so some should show up eventually. It wasn't my normal day off of napping and watching clips on Hulu, but it was definitely fun and lifted our spirits...at least until we had to go back to work on Monday morning.