Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Games of our Lives

Going out during the Games was nothing like in Melbourne. There was no official niteclub, no parties and no alcohol at venues. The atmosphere was a little duller than would be found at any event in Melbourbourne. At the Diving the only cheers that could be heard were from the Athlete stands! Some sports provided some crowd entertainment. At the Handball Final between Iraq and Qatar a VIP guest from Iraq gave a fellow VIP guest from Qatar the finger. What followed you could never imagine would be done anywhere else in the world! The Iraqi Gentleman was then escorted into the walkway, and The Ministry of Interior for the Government of Qatar proceeded to bash the living hell out of him!! In front of the entire stadium! That sort of behaviour would not be tolerated in Qatar!! Iraq was winning and went on the take the Gold, poor losers!

Anyway as it got closer to the end of the Games we hit Rydges most nights, a Hotel with an Aussie Bar! It was full mostly with DAGOC staff, some Media and a few lucky Athletes that heard about the place!

It was a great experience to watch Sports I'd never heard of before like Kabaddi and Sepaktakraw and also to watch the Fencing, Beach Volleyball and Diving. The Emir even showed face at the Sepaktakraw final, just a casual appearance.

Watched the Closing on TV at Garveys and then headed out to the Doha Rubgy Club for a big thank-god-its-over night with friends! Haven't had to work since the last day of the Games so its been great. Leaving for Egypt in a couple of days, back here for a week and then finishing up on the 15th Jan. Will head to Oman and then Thailand before reaching AUS! Can't wait!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Melbourne Cup in Doha

Last month the Doha Golf Club ran a Melbourne Cup function for all Aussies in Doha. DAGOC Aussies making up most of the crowd.

It was a fantastic night, they set up a bar and had a huge marquee on the grass which was so lovely. We all frocked up and the entire night really didn't feel like we were in Doha which was great!

Would have prefered of course to be at home for the Spring Carnival, probably my favourite time of the year in Melbourne.

Clown Suits

Our Games Workforce Uniform looks so much like a Clown Suit that I feel I should be hoping on my unicyle to get to work(the Circus) everyday!

Definately glad I'm not working in Uniforms here. Our Accreditation Team Above...

Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi...

It's been a great games so far, although a far cry from the "Games of Your Life" - the official games slogan! I've been able to see the Beach Volleyball, Fencing and my favourite Kabaddi! It was a mad rush to get in and get seats as it's been one of the most popular sports here. Me & Andy sat with the underdogs Pakistan and were warmly welcomed with plastic Pakistani flags! It was a little hard to know what was going on at first, I still don't really understand the games. Something along the lines of tagging and pouncing on the oposition like a game of "Stacks-On"! Anyway it was hilarious to watch. The Indians won for the 5th Asian Games in a row, they were by far the better team.

It was my first time at Sport City, a massive sporting presinct with 2 massive venues and the huge torch, a Hotel they had hoped would be ready in time for the Games. It's probably the best thing going for Qatar although lacking the atmosphere alcohol and live music would bring!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Let the Games Begin!!

I have been here for 5 months now and can't believe how fast the Games have crept up on me! Haven't had a day off in over two months but its kind of been worth it!

The Opening Ceremony was something else. Rumor has it the Budget was over $US200mil!!! Unfortunately money really can't buy everything and it bucketed down for most of the night. I haven't seen a single drop of rain in 5 months and the first 2 days of the Games it rained constantly.

Tomorrow we're all headed to watch the Finals of the Men's Kabaddi! A sport originating from India its much the same as British Bulldog! Pakistan and India are in the finals and the fans are meant to be crazy! Really looking forward to it!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Last Sunday was the end of Ramadan. A month of drinking our coffees in a small little kitchen with many others, eating lunch in crowded room upstairs with smokers hanging out of windows. Drinking, Eating, Smoking or anything else was forbidden from entering the mouth or body of Muslims from Sunrise until Sunset. It was all a bit daunting for us all but it went by suprisingly fast for me. We could start later and finish earlier each day at work and to celebrate the end of it all - a national paid-holiday for a week! None of us expected to get it off but they did which was great so we all got the hell out of here!!

Andy, Andy and I decided to escape to greener pastures- Sri Lanka! Its so cheap to fly there from here probably due to the large majority of the workers here that are SriLankan (Earning pennies for hard labour but thats for another story!!!). We flew out late on the Monday night, staying only for 3 nights. The first day we attempted to walk around the city of Colombo in the early afternoon but had to retreat to the hotel after getting so drenched I was having trouble lifts my legs because my jeans were so heavy! Plus the fact that i had huge streaks of black mascara running from my eyes all the way down my neck! We jumped in our first TokTok a 3 wheller open door taxi and headed back to the hotel for the afternoon! This was about all of Colombo we ended up seeing.

We decided to head into Kandy, a 4 hours drive inland to see the Elephants in Pinnawalla and the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy itself. The drive was a little long, we took one main road into Kandy. The road was lined with shops practically the whole way there! A very interesting drive, we stopped at one point along the road to have pictures taken with a lady whos "job"it was to tie porky pines up in chains and poke them with sticks. We nonetheless had our pictures taken and paid her for her services! Very prickly little things!

The Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawala was amazing. We were able to walk freely with the Elephants and have pictures taken(for a price of course). One little fella was only 2 weeks old! We stopped for a Sri Lanka beer before heading into the centre of Kandy for the night.

Monday, October 09, 2006


A group of us decided to head away for the weekend to Sealine. A beautiful resort down the coast of Qatar. We only get one day off so we try to make the most of it! Alex & Kim organized 3 villas for 20 of us and straight from work we headed down. I think we were all surprised to see how amazing the villas were when we got there. Each had dividing concrete walls that ran almost all the way down to the beach, 3 large rooms a dinning area, kitchen area, 3 bathrooms!! Very plush! We had a BBQ and relaxed on our private beach with a few drinks, dancing and good times! It was quite a surreal setting with huge sand dunes in the distance and camels walking along the beach!! Spent Friday by the pool in the resort before heading back to Doha to relax on our Roof. We all had a fantastic time and will probably head back again after the Games!

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Its the holy month of Ramadan here now and everywhere in the Islamic world. Muslims are fasting from sun rise through to sunset which means for most Westerners hidding away eatting lunch in blacked out rooms and sneaking cups of coffee in the kitchen at work with the tea boys! Jess and I have mastered eatting apples from our laps whilst driving to work, too scared we may get arrested for eatting in public (imagine)!! Anyway its proving not as difficult as many of us were expecting.

Sam a friend from Melbourne has recently arrived and moved in with some of our friends into the boys apartment building. Since there is no bars open at all here they decided to throw a party and getting into the spirt of things here have a Pjamadan theme!!

It turned out to be more of a level party than just one flat with most of DAGOC coming! Lots of interesting outfits, boys coming dressed in sexy lingerie of course! Outfits left behind were thrown over the doors as reminders of a good party. Today the boys received an email demanding the lingerie to be removed on they would have the accomodation stripped immediately!!!! Very touchy people here.....

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Pimp Shay's Camel

Last weekend Shay organised a desert camping trip for about 160 of us DAGOC expats! It was unreal! We all met straight after work and 32 4WD's headed in a line out into the Desert of Qatar to the Inland Sea. Once we hit the big dunes our tour guides let the tires down for "dune bashing" which was so much fun. When we arrived at the campsite it as getting dark. They had set up 7 big open tents in a semi circle with a large dancefloor in the middle with tables and chairs. A great set-up for a party. We could hire Quad bikes, go swimming and surfing down dunes. Only we could complain about was the weather, there was no escaping the heat, even the water was hot! We headed off around 9am the next day back to Doha to watch the AFL! Another great weekend...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Diggity Dog Grammer School Disco

To help celebrate our good friend Michael aka Big Dog's 25th Birthday we decided to organise a School Disco! Thanks to a comittee (QOCBOC) of 13 we pulled off an awesome night at Nan's villa. Everyone got involved, Cheerleaders, a Head Master, PE Teachers and Students with lots of boys coming as girls and a disciplanary teacher (Jude) who came with a paddle to spank any naughty students! Hats off to Mags who got the paddle on more than a few occasions! I was Head of Creative which was Lighting and Music. Found some awesome flashing disco lights and loaded my ipod with some of the best 80's music which had everyone dancing til the wee hours of the morning! Great night, lots of great photos too!

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Not really much to report about Bahrain, the locals are very friendly and more welcoming to Westerners and they don't drive like the crazy Qatari's! Spent most of the weekend going to restaurants and bars, sitting by the pool or chilling in the hotel. The first night we ventured down to the Hotel bar called Wranglers. It was full of wanabe ganster American Marines in baseball shirts and bling - very interesting! It took us a few drinks to get into it but it turned out to be a great night! I thought I had scored 500 Riyals ($170AUS) too much change so bought everyone drinks only to find out it was 50 Saudi ($17AUS) the next day when i tried to use it! Anyway it was worth the laughs and I'll never be able to go to Saudi Arbia as a single white female so its something to keep I guess! Spent the whole of Friday at Ric's Country Kitchen All you can eat and drink brunch which was hilarious! The place looked like something out of the 70's and had a filipino guy with a mullet singing country and western music. Jess won the major prize for the raffle - brunch for 2 which she gave away to some American Marine (they're everywhere!). Friday night we met up with some friends at Bambu, again an all you can eat and drink restaurant. It was a gorgeous restaurant with great food and wine, after the day we already had it was a bit of a struggle. Great night though, we all made speeches and sang songs - lots of fun before we headed out to BJ's where it was again full of American Marines and girls drink for free! Didn't last very long there but had a great time. It was good to get out of Doha one last time before the imprisonment begins! Not looking forward to working 6 day weeks for the next 4 months!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Qatar Logic

So theres a huge accomodation crisis happening here in Doha, too many people not enough houses for them. I was lucky to have Jess here already who managed to score us the last apartment in the DAGOC 2 apartment building, others in my starter group had to stay in a hotel for nearly 10weeks. Although a really nice hotel, with cleaners everyday, fresh sheets etc.. there was nowhere for them to cook. Basically eating out every meal of the day! Anyway they finally found a finished apartment building for them all to move into. Enrica an Italian girl I work with got the keys for her apartment on the 6th floor of a 7 story building. So they take the lift up to what they thought was their floor only to find all the apartment numbers where too high so they head down to the 5th floor only to find they are all too low! They've installed an elevator for 6 floors in a 7 story building so they have to take the lift up to the 6th and walk down!! Only in Qatar!!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Amz, my most famous friend!!

Amy you're going to hate me for this but I'm just so proud of you! You look gorgeous! Looking forward to seeing you on the cover of Cosmo soon!!! xx

Bahrain Bound!!

My new favourite thing to do - GOLF! Absolutely love it! Took 7 shots off my best to get a 58 on the academy course on the weekend! Only 9 holes but I was proud of my result! Its got me rethinking my profession actually, travelling around the world playing Golf sounds like the way forward!

Heading off to Bahrain for the weekend, they have a dirt golf course that we're looking into playing at! Sounds interesting! They've announced we're moving into 6 day weeks now, this weekend our last chance to escape Doha until the end of the Games in December. Basically they're not issuing Exit Permits or any leave after this weekend so we can't leave the country until December 15th!! Not happy about it but there's nothing we can do! Looking forward to getting some sun and relaxing all weekend!! Will post photos when I get back!

Monday, August 21, 2006

You know you've lived in the Gulf too long when...

- You need a sweater when it's 80 degrees Fahrenheit
- Your idea of housework is leaving a list for the houseboy
- You send friends a map instead of your address
- You believe that speed limits are only advisory
- Your definition of a nanosecond is the time interval between the time the light turns green and the time that the guy behind you begins to blow his horn
- You're not surprised when you see a goat in a pick up truck
- You can't buy anything without asking for a discount
- You expect all stores to stay open till midnight
- You make left turns from the far right lane
- You understand why huge 4x4s must slow down to a snail's pace whilst crossing a speed bump yet hurtle through a wadi at 100kph
- You think it perfectly normal to have a picnic in the middle of a roundabout at 11pm
- You know exactly how much alcohol allowance you have left for the month
- You have a moon phase predictor on your computer
- You never say Saturday instead of Thursday or Sunday instead of Friday
- You accept that there is no point in asking why you are not allowed to do something
- You expect queues to be 1 person deep and 40 people wide
- You realize that the black and white stripes in the road are not a zebra crossing, just bait to get tourists into the firing line
- You know what night is ladies night at every bar in town
- Seeing guys welcome each other with a kiss no longer disgusts you
- You carry 12 passport size photos around with you just in case
- You can tell the time by listening to the local mosque
- You think its a good night if there are fewer than 10 men for every woman in a bar
- Phrases like 'potato peeler', 'dish washer', and 'fly swatter' are no longer household items but job titles
- You start to say "Insha'allah" when you actually mean "No f**king chance!"
- You overtake a police car at 130km/hr
- A problem with your car AC is more serious to you than a problem with the brakes
- You smoke a shisha in public without expecting to be arrested
- You think only men should hold hands in public
- You expect to go to jail when a local hits the back of your car at a stop sign

Its suprising how true this is!!!!

The Dip Club


Easily had the best weekend since coming to Doha! Thursday night we headed over to the boys new apartment building for a pre-party before heading to the Diplomatic Club for there Global Dj's night! Had an absolute ball dancing, the music was awesome and everyone was so happy they weren't at the Ramada Hotel for the 5th week in a row dancing to a Filipino Band!!

GARVEYS:We decided to back Thursday up with a round of golf and beers and then off to Garveys for shots and shots! Kate had just broken it off with her fella so drinking was the answer!! Lots of casualities, the quote of the night going to Kate "Woody just spewed on my foot.. i'll be right back"!!


Thought we would back up a good weekend with a Sunday session at the Romada. It's a school night for us here in Doha but we heard an AFL match was being played followed by the first Chelsea match of the season so how could we miss out!? Any excuse really. Kate started off the roudiness by ripping up all her 1 Riyal notes and throwing them all over herself and anyone else she could! We took to the dancefloor with several hundreds of Filipino's, started a congo line and had the whole place flocking to the dancefloor to get involved. This turned into a massive circle with breakdancers and random idiots(us) dancing and chanting until the early hours of the morning! Awesome night, well worth the sore head yesterday!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Happy 60th Birthday Dad

Today its my Dad's 60th birthday and I'm missing out again on this special day! I'm sorry I couldn't be there to help celebrate with you, I hope you have a wonderful day and a great night with the family & friends on the weekend! I miss you & love you! xxx

Monday, August 14, 2006

Happy Gilmore

On Friday I went off to play Golf for the second time that week. Andy & Woody were kind enough to let me play with them on Tuesday afternoon in 45degree heat. We all looked like we had jumped in a pool but the cold beers and breeze as we drove the carts around made it bearable. My highlight would have to be my boagie on the second hole, beating the boys by a few shots, beginners luck! Anyway since we all seem to be playing heaps of Golf Andy thought we should all get together for a Happy Gilmore Party so we all headed over to Louy's house after Golf for carnage! Having a drink everytime they say Happy or Gilmore, or when they appear on signs or the TV etc... It seemed easy to begin with but by the end I think Jess & I had wished we weren't drinking Vodka Redbulls... Big night, lots of randomness.. Kate brought around Twister which made for some great laughs!! Another great weekend, with another good friend Danielle arriving from Melbourne. More good times ahead!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Sheraton Jumeirah Beach & Wild Wadi

Probably not the best place 7 ex-backpackers could have booked but we definitely made the most of it! Lots of fun to be had in hotel robes!! After disturbing our neighbours with our loud music, we took our little party to the beach. Jess & me tried our best to get security to let us all swim in the Gulf, but he was having none of it, as if the Sheraton owns the Gulf!! Ripped off!! We all ventured up to our rooms around 6am, just as the sun came up to get some sleep for Wild Wadi Waterpark on Saturday...

We managed to get to Wild Wadi around midday with plans to stay there all day before flying back to Doha at 9pm. Spent most of the day floating on tubes, the guys falling asleep with Andy's hotel sleepers over there faces. Awesome views from one of the best rides there...