Today, I managed to get on a tour exploring the city of Doha in Qatar. The tour itself cost me about $20 U.S., but everything I did in town cost me Qatari Riyals.
A riyal is worth about $.28 in the United States.
We took a bus to several stops in town.
The first stop was a place called the “Old Souqs.” Essentially, souqs is a fancy word for marketplace, or shopping center.
The falcon I’m holding in this picture is hooded so that he doesn’t freak out when I get near him.
I nicknamed him “Millennium.” You wish you had thought of this.
We went to a group of jewelry stores, and the pressure to buy something was extreme. I got so irritated by it (and the American-only pricing) that I went back into the bus and napped.
We then went to a local restaurant, and I ate chicken kabobs. I had the option to eat a lamb kabob, but I passed. I just don’t eat lamb. The lamb I’ve eaten in the past had a weird aftertaste.
The weird part: the kabobs, which were great, were served with fries.
We went to a few different landmarks and took some photos before heading over to the City Center Mall.
We only spent an hour at this mall, but that was all I really needed. I walked across all five stories of the mall, and it featured many American brands. Each store had signs written in both English and Arabic.
One of the restaurants I saw was an Applebee’s. It’s strange to see people in traditional dress enter these western-style establishments.
This picture gives you a little perspective on how tall this mall really is. At the bottom level is an ice-skating rink as well as a bowling alley.
I’ve posted a whole series of photos from my day in the Doha City Tour photo gallery on this site. I encourage you to go over there and look at the pictures of falcons, hookas (essentially bongs), a giant pearl, and the kind of cups Starbucks uses in Qatar.
You’ll notice there are not a lot of photos of specific people in my photos. There are heavy restrictions on what you can and cannot photograph. We’re talking about the possibility of getting deported because I took a photo that offended someone. So, I focused mainly on the places, and I tried not to shoot photos where the people were the key part of the image.