Thursday, September 14, 2006


Week Eighteen

Al-salaam alaykum,

Sunday it was back to work with a fantastic hangover. I was lucky though, we were at the beginning of two days of bus testing. I spent the day either sleeping, playing cards, or sleeping. It was great. The perfect way to pick up after a big night (sorry Nana & Pop). The bus testing was interesting. We took all of the venue transport managers (around 40), games motor pool and a few from bus systems. The two days did come in handy, especially when we went to test the Athletes Village. The other positive is we got to see all of the other venues and how they will work. The Monday was especially handy, as we were given a full description of what was happening transport wise at each of the venues, really good stuff, some very handy knowledge that is for sure!!!

Tuesday I cooked dinner for a few friends from the Village, including a few who I worked with in Melbourne. Wednesday night was my turn for the rotational dinner. I decided it was time to make chicken parma’s. Unfortunately there was no ham available, actually ham is never available, but it was still great. The parma’s were huge, it took me around an 1 ½ hours to cook it all, including the 1 ½ kilos of chips, salads and the cheese and garlic bread I made. It was all topped of with chocolate ice cream with Hersheys syrup. Lots of food was made and not a single bit was left.

The work week was back to normal. Meetings until late, then getting called a couple of hours later to be told the person didn’t actually understand what was needed then go back again to re-explain it. We were also told that we would be getting a long weekend, and boy did we make the most of it.

Nana and Pop I recommend you look away now!!!!!

Our bosses have a bar on their roof, and it has named ‘The Camel’s Toe’. On Thursday night we went to Camel’s Toe. The party was a benefit for the dog shelter here in Doha. At the moment, the shelter is not classed as a charity. The owners are applying at the moment, however just like every other process here, it takes a long time. It was decided there would be a cover charge of 50 riyals, and a 10 riyal shot bar. The night itself was fantastic. It was boiling hot, and everyone was sweating like crazy, mind you that is normal for this country. The party was very successful for raising money. We ended up raising 15000 riyals, which in Australian terms is around $6,500. Not bad for one night.

Friday was a day of relaxation, well that was the original plan. A group of us went for a champagne brunch at the Sheraton Hotel. It was great. Only negative was that the champagne ran out for around 45 minutes, very inconvenient. The food was great, a large range, unfortunately no Pork. The chef did make fantastic omelette. This fantastic 3 hours of eating and drinking champagne was followed by drinks at Rydges. We went there with the intention of only drinking one or two. As I am sure you can imagine, this didn’t happen. We finally left around 8 pm. The rest of the night was spent watching DVD’s and relaxing. It ended up being a rather quiet night, which was exactly what was needed.

Saturday was the day I had been looking forward to most of all. I was up at 6 am ready for the big game. We went to Kath Rowarth’s place to watch the Adelaide v Melbourne game. Liam, one of the former road events guys from Melbourne who is now here in Doha, brought over his projector so we could watch it on the big screen. Kristjan leant us his satellite tv card so we could watch the Sportsnet Channel which was showing the game live. It was supposed to start 8.10 am our time. However, due to some technical difficulties, the ended up being postponed until 10.30 am. We didn’t find this out until 8 am, which was really annoying. We managed to fill in the hours before the game, but it only increased our excitement as time got closer. It was great to watch the gam. We had hot chips, hot dogs, you name. For a few minutes, it almost felt like we were watching it on the couch back home. Unfortunately the end result of the game was very disappointing, but it was still great to just see a game.

Saturday night it was off to Plattsy’s for a BBQ and some swimming in the pool. The night was great. It was actually the first BBQ I have had since I got here, and it was great. It certainly in no way matches a BBQ in Australia, but it was great none the less. A good night had by all.

Sunday was a very quiet day, especially after the weekend we had just had. I went over to Mary and Jess’ to watch some episode of series 2 of Lost. It is great. When I left Australia, the second group who were on the plane had just arrived at the beach (for those of you who watch lost that will make sense). I’m looking forward to watching more of the episodes. That night I went over the Kate and Shays for a lamb roast. It’s the first roast I have had since I arrived in Doha. You can’t go wrong with a Sunday roast, including roast vegetables.

The interesting happenings at the new accommodation building never seem to stop. Murray closed the door to his bedroom and his door handle fell off. He was able to open the door which was handy. He ended up using the lock on the door to keep it closed. In another apartment, one of the guys was having a shower when the shower head exploded off the wall, sending water straight out of the pipe and all over the place. A coupe of days later, Murray went to bed, only to go to get up and find that the lock that had been working fine for the days prior, broke. This meant that Murray was locked in his room, unable to get out. Half an hour later, Willo gave the door a few hard kicks, breaking the door and the lock. This apartment building is amazing.

So there it is, another week in the land of sand.

I hope you are all well, wherever you are in the world reading this.

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