Monthly Archives: January 2012

I am a faithful morning radio listener. Recently, I found out that  Qataris have one of the highest per capita rates of Type 2 diabetes in the world.  An interviewed Quatari female nutritionist explained how Qatari lifestyle had changed in the recent years and underlined  the relation between the quatari genome and the changes in lifestyle of the once upon a time Bedouins…

Interestingly enough, my first stop over was an opportunity to  experience the modus vivendi of the inhabitants of this sandy country. Doha is like an artificial flower sprung out of the desert, watered with crude petroleum and fertilised by oil money.

Tall buildings scrape the blue skies. The city looks like it has been built with Lego: wide auto-routes and well-defined building blocks. Car transport is a necessity here. Firstly because the city is not made for pedestrians. Secondly because most of the year it is just too hot to be out in the open. Thirdly because showing off  your fancy car is part of forging an identity.

The sea promenade, the Corniche, is to Doha what a cool breeze is to a hot day. However, in the summer it offers very little shade and high sunstroke odds.

The Museum of Islamic art is a gem of modern architecture inspired by tradition. It features a large collection of exhibits from the Middle East in a sunbathed, cool interior.

As for the locals, they are easily spotted in their black (women) and white (men) traditional apparel, leaving very little room for personal style. Therefore, men proudly sport their very expensive watches, cars and electronic gadgets, while women try to stick out with heavy jewellery and make-up, funky handbags and feminine shoes.

Otherwise, the city is full of expatriates and tourists. At counters and tills one sees foreign workforce only.

Doha offers slim opportunities for entertainment. Time is spent in airconditioned shopping malls, or at home. Occasionally, locals organise family outings in the desert. Hence the generalised lack of exercise.

In less than 24 hours I had enough time to do the basics: visit the landmark museum, walk by the sea, go to the Souk and chill out in the company of excellent hosts who  confirm that a day’s visit is just enough for this coastal capital.

Aloha Doha.


I have a keyring but no keys. This past week I have been living a semi-nomadic life, emptying my former nest and couch-surfing at a good friend’s.

My suitcase is full to the brim with ‘just in case’ items, ranging from anti-ripellent and medecins, to chargers, batteries and sunscreen lotion. My little rucksack looks as if it’s holding its breath.

In the morning of my departure I take my breakfast and go through my ‘to do’ list . I step out to a splendind sunshine. I take the tram to the sunwashed city center and after running errands I pause at a new coffeeshop  before meeting friends for lunch.

I am hugged bye-bye and I am off to the airport. I board the plane and make myself comfortable, tucking the soft grey blanket and browsing the entertainment system.

I watch Lost in translation for the first time and get tearful at the end.

Well landed in Doha I am met by friends and we drive through the night traffic in their  sand-laced jeep. They take me to their appartment on the 25th floor of a tower.

I fall asleep on the couch next to a window overlooking the west bay of Doha.


Clockwise, otherwise & likewise

The Chick on a Pea

Clockwise, otherwise & likewise

Sadness Theory

Music with passion for the environment

zee pause café

taking a moment, having a coffee, writing down some thoughts