Sunday, 6 March 2011

Some of the important things.

Moving from Dubai to Doha means having to start again finding all the important things. So far its looking good:

1. Sharwama man - tick.  The fine food at the Al Mattar al Qadeem branch of  'Lebanese Charwama' (that's their spelling) will do nicely thanks.

2. Juice man - tick.  Just a couple of doors down from the sharwama man.  When I walked into the juiceshop in front of me there was a cash register on an old coffee table and a group of guys sitting round on assorted chairs, some left over from long forgotten dining room suites, a couple of plastic bbq chairs and an old armchair.  There was no obvious indication of who was a customer or who worked there so I gave my order in a sort of general way to the group and then waited to see who reacted. After they got over the shock of there being a woman in the shop, everything went smoothly and one of the guys got up and went behind the counter to make the juice and the man in the armchair reached over to take my money and put it in the cash register.  Next time I'll know that the juiceshop owner sits in the best chair!

3. Gym - tick (FF at Doha City Centre). FF used to be a mixed gym like in Dubai until last year when the Doha authorities told them the sexes had to have separate areas. The gym's done a good job in making the space but the two ladies areas (cardio and weights) are now in separate parts of the gym. The female cardio area is in a sealed off corner of the main gym while the weights/machines area is inside the ladies change rooms. Females have to pass through the main gym to move between cardio and weights areas. So the local ladies come to the gym put on their workout gear then put on their abayas and sheylas to walk from the change area to the cardio area.  Once inside they take them off and do their workout then put them back on so they can pass through the main gym on their way back to the weights area. In the weights area they take off their abayas and sheylas again and continue their workout.
I've been to a gym in the Grand Hyatt hotel here.  While a ladies only gym was provided, men and women can also train together in the main part of the gym which had the most useful equipment.  This gym was ultra expensive but the facilities were top class.  They also provide a laundry service to wash members' gym gear after use and have it ready when you next come to the gym.

4. Abaya shops that sell completely outrageous, over-the-top evening gowns from racks at the back of the shop out of public view - check, check and check.

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