Sunday, May 30, 2010

Seeing The Sights

Museum of Islamic Art
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Yesterday, I went downtown with Eddy, James, and Lee. We had a loose agenda, most dictated by Eddy, and it ended up being one of the best trips I've had downtown since I got here.
After lunch and some light shopping at the City Centre, we headed across the Corniche to the Museum of Islamic Art. It was a place I'd driven past several times and always wanted to check out, but usually the people with me weren't interested.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
It's a gorgeous building that sits on a man-made island in the bay. It contained galleries with pieces collected as far west as Spain and as far east as China, and dating all the way back to the 7th century, when Islam was founded. There were some gorgeous exhibits, featuring everything from tapestries and jewellery to suits of armour and ancient pages of the Qur'an written with gold.

Lee & Eddy
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
From there, we headed over to the souqs for a little more shopping. The souqs are different than the malls because they're all locally-run shops in a more traditional setting. Plus, you can haggle with the shop-keepers, which is kind of an art form around here. Also, there are tons of outdoor cafes for relaxing and smoking the hookah.

Smokin' the Hookah
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
We ended up sitting at the cafe for two hours, socialising and laughing. This trip was different than my other trips to Doha in that none of the guys I brought with me were people from work. I love the guys on my crew, but it was nice to get away with friends I don't already spend twelve hours a day with.

James & Eddy
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Eddy really wanted to go to this place called the Sky View Bar at the top of the La Cigale Hotel. Unfortunately, he couldn't remember exactly how to get there. So we spent a few minutes driving around in crazy Doha traffic with Eddy on the phone with the broken-Engish-speaking concierge trying to get directions. It was total chaos at the time, but something we couldn't stop laughing about by the time we got there.

Me & Lee
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
We sat outside on the terrace, overlooking the entire city, and it was absolutely breathtaking. We reclined and told stories over cheese, sushi, and cigars. I laughed harder than I've laughed in a long time. Doha is quickly becoming one of my favourite cities.

James, Eddy, Lee, & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
I'm really glad the four of us got to hang out yesterday, especially in a setting that made us forget, if only for a day, that we're deployed. I haven't known these guys for long, but it's good to know we have a brotherhood that extends beyond national borders or social boundaries. And if any of them ever find themselves in Italy, my door will be open wide.

Oh, and if you see Lee, ask him why I can't get this song out of my head.

No comments: