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Off on my travels again tomorrow, to Muscat, a place I have never visited. Only one overnight then back to Qatar on Saturday night. Normally, I'd be going to Dubai but our little local difficulty rolls on and Dubai can't be accessed from Doha except by stopping off in Muscat or Kuwait or somewhere even further off. Alternatively, there is the option of a 'luxury' coach from Muscat to Dubai, but apparently that takes four hours. It might be a good way to see the country but would take a huge bite out of a short weekend.
Note to self: One Omani Rial = Ten Qatari Riyals. Beware of overpaying taxis by a factor of ten!
But a couple of days ago, don't know why, it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn't seen one for a while. So, I started to make a point of looking out for them. And sure enough, they have all gone, as if by fatwa or royal edict. It can't just be their age. There are fleets of JACs and MANs (Men?) just as old and ugly and still working. But the bull-nose Mercs had presence and personality. They were fun and, if they have really been scrapped or pensioned off, they will be missed.
As will the aeroplanes, the food and the drinking water. Thanks Donald.
This is Al Hamra restaurant, a place I've often walked past but never entered. It looks like nothing else in Doha. The main restaurant area seems to be on the first floor, accessed by an external curving staircase shaded by stretched parasol sails.It has been there for a long time, planted obliquely in its plot of land, not parallel to either road. This is normal in mosques, where the edifice is always oriented towards Mecca, but there seems no reason for a restaurant building to follow this practice. Having said that, it predates all the surrounding buildings, coming from a time when space was less at a premium, and the nonconformity adds much to its character. I hope it continues to thrive, at least until I finally decide to give it a try.
There has to be such an entity, somewhere. Take one squiller. Fashion it into a jambalaya. Declare job done. That was not difficult. It only took faith, hope and dyslexia. And the greatest of these is... no, I won't finish that thought. Squiller Jambalaya. Earth hinny onythin tae Bowmore Fair.