My plans to blog about out every day life seems to have come a bit unstuck! Somehow my plans to be a lady of leisure over here, with plenty of time for scrapbooking, exercise and reading (probably in that order) have come quite unstuck. I’m really enjoying our life here, but my days have quickly filled with activity.
However today’s blog is not about Doha. We are on the road again, and travel is always more interesting to write about. Rob is visiting, and we’re enjoying looking around the region and beyond.
Rob arrived in Dubai on Oct 5, which by coincidence was the exact date I needed to leave Doha again to renew my visa. It was also Eid, which meant Keith had a few days off work, so we all got to meet up in Dubai for a few days of fun and cricket. I’m sure that Rob really wanted to come & visit us, and the fact that the Australian cricket team were playing in the UAE was a complete coincidence!!
We attempted to go to the T20 match in Dubai (AUS v Pakistan) with our friends W & C who are living in Dubai now. We thought we could just buy tickets at the gate, but we didn’t take into account the number of Pakistanis in Dubai, the cheap ticket price and the public holiday! It was a sellout, and we found ourselves milling around outside the ground with thousands of Pakistanis who had also missed out. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a crowd that size before!!
The next day was one of those days where things didn’t quite go to plan. Suffice to say – visiting an Islamic country during an Islamic festival is a bad idea, unless you really like crowds!!
The next cricket match was a one day game in Sharjah, just north of Dubai. We took the opportunity to have a look around Sharjah in the morning, after first stopping at the cricket ground to make sure we got our tickets. There’s a large marketplace known as the Blue Souk (named for the tiles decorating the outside of the building), and we spent a while browsing, and declining the offer to purchase pashminas from every shop we passed. “Good morning, welcome, you like Pashmina?”
We splurged a little on the tickets to sit in the members stand, partly because we were told there was air conditioning. After spending the moment sightseeing in 40+ degrees we were really looking forward to the AC. Sadly it turned out to be a few ceiling fans at the top of the stadium! Very disappointing!! We were thankfully in full shade, but between the heat and humidity we were so so hot. There were people coming around regularly selling cold water & soft drinks, for which we were extremely grateful. I don’t remember ever feeling that hot for so long!! The cricket was good, and Australia won, which of course we enjoyed, but the most fun was experiencing the atmosphere of the largely Pakistani crowd, who really enjoy their cricket, and we loved their enthusiastic chanting and singing, and some of their larger-than-life characters.