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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 77, Friday - Doha

Well, today is actually my last day in Doha (although there is one more day left in my trip), and by this point I’m sure you know what that means: packing day! Once more, I have produced a near-miracle by figuring out how to get all of my belongings and all of the things I have picked up along the way into two suitcases and a duffle-bag.

Unfortunately for you, that means I don’t have much exciting to write about. Fortunately for you, I have some last observations which I have forgotten to include in earlier posts (yay!):

1. Travel mugs: they are a rarity in the Middle East, at least from what I’ve seen. I am starting to think that the fact that I have three of my own at home is more a comment on my own tea addiction and our whole society’s addiction to caffeine than a loss for people in this region. Not that I have any intention of giving mine up. Ever. Just saying.

2. I haven’t been watching much tv lately, but earlier in my trip I noticed an interesting tendency with commercials here. I don’t know if this is true everywhere, but I noticed that with some programs at least, there are fewer but longer commercial breaks and the patterns goes something like this: preview the first half of the commercials, show the first set of commercials, show the second set of commercials, recap the second half of commercials. As a marketing specialist, I wonder how effective that is. 

3. Frozen yogurt is quite trendy here, just like at home. There is this one chain called "Pink Berry" and apparently it has been quite the hit. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the stuff, but Mary Anne and I went to Pink Berry to share a guava one with berries when I first got to Doha and I have to say, it was really good.

Today wasn’t completely uneventful (really no day on this trip has been, there is always something to learn!), as this evening some of Terry’s students came over for their own little “end of the semester” party. We played some mixer games and had dinner catered from Turkey Central (yes, the place with the amazing hummus, sesame bread, and grilled meats).

For desert we did something a little unique. Terry is a chemistry professor and so instead of buying ice-cream from the store, we made some. Oh, and by “made some” I mean we used regular ice-cream ingredients and cooled them by using liquid nitrogen. Terry would pour and we all took turns mixing:

That stuff is cold. Even the mist floating off the table was cold!

After ice-cream, it was time for me to go. I said good-bye to the students and Mary Anne and then Terry drove me to the airport to start the last part of my journey. Since I technically did all of my traveling on Saturday (my flight took off after midnight) I still have one more day to write about…

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