Sunday, March 14, 2010

A beautiful lotus mandala carved into a watermelon . Typical centerpiece at parties around here .Indian style fruit sculpture in Doha .

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I have been living in Qatar for a while and I remember well - those orange cabs . Those folks with big beard and national wear - never telling anything to you -but always taking you to the place where you want to go .. and never cheating you ...
Well nowadays taxi drivers have nice uniform and no beards but they do not know the city well .The other day I came across a driver from Burma who did not know where Villaggio mall was .
Even worse he did not turn when I told him to do so this way he made a tour of Doha with me which resulted in very high bill .
apparently karwa is not training the drivers before letting them work - but why I have to pay for that ? i find it very unfair .
but all these things are not new ... but what is really shocking for me is that last month I stumbled upon a lots of scammy drivers ...every three ..
their way was
1 not switching on the meter - then asking for a sum double than it should be
2 telling that they have no change ( they can not find 4 rials change )
3taking the money not giving back anything and telling that god will bless me ... I think last time a gypsy woman said me so in transylvania when buying forest fruits from her i studpily paid with a a bank note...
I do not think that Qatar should sink to this level .
Nowadays I prepare well with small change in advance against these "allah karim mam" scammers
I give tip with pleasure when I am satisfied .It is usually 15 % . But I get furious when they want to dictate ...
the other day the driver did not turn where I told him to do so ... then I told him three times to turn at the next street - then he yelled at me " no speaking " you speaking once' enough ... when I told him that I m the customer then he answered yes - you customer and you speak once ..he told me with such a male pride that I really felt like giving him a punch
someone really should inform these guys about acceptable manners in qatar

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Hors d'oeuvre print

I was invited to a reception . The catering service was provided by the Diplomatic Club .We had some crudites as appetizer . There was a nice but not too big selection of salads as entree . Then we had to wait a lot for the sishtaouk and the kofta - as it was a self service we had to queue for twenty minutes or more ... this was my only concern - somehow they should have organized better this part . Or it might be not their fault at all - but my hosts .
The main dishes were also excellent- though not the number one in Doha ( i know a cheap Turkish eatery where they make better sishtaouk) - they came with samosas and grilled potatoes and vegetables . I tried their tiramisu cake - it was a real gourmet taste with strong coffee flavor . The assorted fruit cake was not my favorite one.It tasted like a cheap supermarket cake .
The drinks were the usual ones - but no fantasy juice ,sodas ,mineral water .
It is possible to make great cocktails without alcohol as well ...
The waiters and waitresses were wonderful . Helpful ,intelligent but not servile .
That is what I miss at times in Doha . Many times you can meet here unskilled people serving you ... either they are arrogant or servile ... the art of serving with dignity should be taught - I think .
I remember once a Chinese waiter helped me with the kids and bags at a cafe in Doha . When we were already outside the cafe he bowed in front of me at a deep angle .Such things frighten me and I had not returned the place for longtime though it is my number one cafe in Doha .
People coming from far eastern countries should be informed about that bowing is not seen as a form of respect here .Generally one should not bow in front of anybody else than God - according to the Quran's teachings .I know people who do not let their kids go to karate club for this reason .They object the usual bow in front of the karate master .
The main supervisor at the reception arranged for us seats at once as he saw I was standing with a sleeping toddler in my arms . Though it was a standing reception - there were few tables as well ... I liked what he did and how he did it very much ...
expat Qatar