2010. szeptember 26., vasárnap

Aqua Park Qatar

Qatar's first Aqua Park has opened it's doors for visitors this weekend, so we just had to go and see how it is, against all the warnings we got from people who attended a trial opening a couple of weeks ago (they actually said they felt like lab-rats as half of the facilities were not working properly).

The park was actually supposed to be open this April, then before Ramadan, then for the Eid, and then... well, it's just typical. It is still far from finished, there was still construction all over the place, but we went, we saw, we tried to enjoy ourselves and then again, we probably won't go again any soon. I think we just need to give it some more time, otherwise it has the potential to be a nice place for families. Doha is an obvious place for a waterpark, now they just need to ensure that all the facilities are ready and perfectly safe to use. This weekend I just didn't feel like it was.

Soffi on the way there:
It was a 40 minutes drive from our house, which is to overcome:
You can see how the surroundings are just still not finished:

We were not allowed to bring any drinks or food inside and 'of course' no cameras, so I just had to use my phone (just an explanation for the quality of the pictures and the narrowness of the picture topics:-) )... now we all know that you are not to take pictures of the Qatari ladies, but come on, there were hardly any Qatari women inside, I mean, they are not allowed to bath in public as they aren't allowed to show any skin, so why the rule: no cameras allowed?, whatever... We have seen though a Qatari lady in the water with her jeans and abaya on??? I don't think that was allowed anywhere else. On the contrary you can imagine all those Qatari men, who finally got to see some skin of western women alive! I think Vicky, our neighbour and I were the biggest excitement of the day for them, along we the 5 other western women! Even if we are used to walk around wearing bikinis in a pool area, they still could make us feel uncomfortable by staring at us.

It's just unbelievable how there were no arabic women bathing, they sell otherwise 'burkinis' (burka-bikini) for women here, we have seen a couple of them on the beach, imagine how comfortable it must be in the water:-).

There was a snall rock island in the wave pool??? How smart is that?
Soffi and her best friend, Jake:-)... Well, they enjoyed being there very much.
See the Qatari lady walking around with her maid... At the entrance the pricelist actually included a category for servants! Imagine: Adult, Servant, Children under 4 Y, Children over 4 Y, Groups and so on... I'm so sorry for not taking a picture of it, it's just incredible, but again... this is Qatar.
They say these big slides are not safe at all, but we haven't triedany of them and actually they were not open all of them...
There was one more pool with a pool bar (no alcohol of course) and a Lazy River pool, where the Qatari guys were staring at the women walking by while lieing in their floating rings the whole afternoon, we didn't go near that:-).

... and this picture is taken in the car on the way home... we actually had to drive off road as there was no proper road leading up to the main road... that's why all the 4 wheel drive cars:-)... incredible again, how can they open and announce for this Aqua Park when they only have the road ready in just one way? We kind of got used to these episodes after living here 6 months but it still does annoy us many-many-many times.
The plan was actually to have dinner out there, but after we have seen the choice of the menu, we decided to head it home instead and ordered some pizza with our neighbours and had a lovely evening with them, all in all a very nice afternoon with some typical, irritating, Qatari moments:-).

2010. szeptember 16., csütörtök

Pool, pool and pool

As it still is incredibely hot in Doha, we have not been doing much else than going to the pool and going to the pool and again, going to the pool in these 5 free days we had after Ramadan has ended... The lowest the temperature gets now is 33 degrees Celsius and that's at night!!! But, as we know how the weather is in Europe right now, I still prefer this, much rather this:-)...
We usually go to the pool in the morning and stay there till lunch time, then go quickly back to the house get something to eat, and by that time Soffi is always so tired that she sleeps like a baby within 5 minutes:-), nice...
The new big thing here is that she now goes down the slide alone, and doesn't care if her head goes under the water, just wants to do it again and again and again... We, adults even get phisically tired of that:-), I mean just following her up the stairs...

2010. szeptember 11., szombat

Soffi's big girl room

Since our daugther has jumped out of her cot bed last week and hit her head a bit, we've decided it was time for her to sleep in a normal junior bed. As well as we've hoped that she will sleep better in a big girl's room and in a big girl's bed:-). Well, we were wrong, she still doesn't wanna sleep at night and especially not in her own bed to our greatest regret:-(. But the room's nice:-).

Me no likey

So these are the creatures driving us nuts here. These lizzards (geckos) are everywhere, we've had at least 5-6 of them in the house!!! you can't chase them, they move sooo fast, they can jump 2-3 meters, crazy... So it goes normally like this, Soffi and I close the door in one room and then Peter tries to get rid of them with a newspaper:-(... They say that they won't hurt you, but come on!! Should I live with these things in the house??? The compound manager from Sri-Lanka just couldn't understand why we don't like them --- they eat the flies?? Yeah, right...
My husband obviously means these pictures are ridiculously small of the gecko, well, I'm sorry , but I just won't go closer than this:-)

2010. szeptember 7., kedd

Soffi goes to Doha nursery

Soffi has started in her nursery last Sunday. You can see on the pictures how excited she was before leaving the house with her new backpack:-). I couldn't take that bag off of her, she could hardly walk with it, eventhough it only contained some snack and an extra outfit, but she wanted to carry it, it's nearly as big as she is...:-)

By the time we got there, she seemed to realize what was gonna happen, and she obviously didn't want me to leave her and cried, but the teachers told me afterwards that she cried for only 2 minutes and then she was perfectly fine, played along with the other kids... I mean those kids that weren't crying even more than she was... I got to know that Soffi is probably the one that enjoys the nursery the most.

We went to nursery only 3 days yet, because they are closed for a week as it's the Eid holiday after the Ramadan is finally over. We'll go again next wednesday for two days and the week after that we are gonna be in business for real.
I couldn't take any pictures inside, but I will try later and will post them, promise:-)

2010. szeptember 4., szombat


Last Friday we went out for trying the Iftar dinner. This is a special Ramadan dinner, the Muslims eat after sunset. They don't eat, drink or smoke, etc. until the sun is up (they sleep instead), then when the sun goes down -around 6 pm here- they shut the gun on the Corniche and everybody starts eating and they eat all night long. The shops are open through the night, the restaurants and everything, and proportionally most of the shops are closed during the day, and of course all coffee shops and restaurants are closed too .

You can get this Iftar buffet in every hotel and restaurants. They begin with eating sweets, especially the date fruit stuffed with all sorts of things and drinking very sweet drinks (non-alcoholic of course) to work their blood-sugar up again, and so they go on to all the rest... We have been to the Ritz Carlton and there they had 50 different dishes, mostly traditional Arabic cuisine... and this is how it is every day during the Holy Month of Ramadan, while they're fasting. Throughout the day there's hardly any traffic on the roads (well, compared to Doha normally), and after 6 pm, you just can't get to go anywhere... There are people just driving around between two roundabouts, back and forth on the Corniche waiting for the gunshot, so that they can finally get some food.

This is the restaurant inside - quite an Arabic atmosphere:-):

The ladies here in the black abayas did not like us taking pictures - even if didn't want to take pictures of them directly-, you are not allowed to photograph Arabic women at any times (unless you get their permission), but now during Ramadan they are even more sensitive.

We have to acknowledge certain rules here in the Ramadan too, even though we aren't Muslims. We are not allowed to smoke, drink, chew gum or eat in public in the hours between sunrise and sunset. You cannot even do so in your car while driving... imagine how lovely this rule is when we have 45 degrees Celsius here in shade. If you would to it anyway, you risk getting a warning from the police or it can even result in spending the rest of the month in jail!!!?- This is only valid for adults though. You aren't allowed to dance or sing or listen to loud music in public, or wear revealing and tight clothes.

Soffi has found a little friend at the Iftar anyway:-), not that she notices a lot of these Ramadan rules... but after we've been eating they've been running around together, looking at each other's shoes and trying them on... so typical women;-)...

The Ramadan is almost over, it will be finished on the coming Wednesday or Thursday depending on the sun or the moon or both:-)... and then we will have the first Eid, which is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, it's actually 3 days of holiday, we are looking forward to that:-).