First, I have some cool pictures to share so check them out!
Today, I went to an incredible Yemeni restaurant and had chicken and beef Kabsa– a rice dish you eat with your hands. For ~35 riyals ($10), I had about 3meals worth of rice, meat, hummus, bread, and a few other soup-like dishes that were all unique and delicious. It’s always an interesting reaction when a few Americans walk into a local restaurant where one employee speaks decent English, but every Arab we’ve met has been hospitable and open to us!
This past weekend I spent 2 days at Doha Golf Club for the Qatar Masters, a European tour golf tournament. I got to see Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Paul Lawrie, and Bryson DeChambeau. Bryson was one of 2 Americans making the cut, and we followed him the last 2 rounds. We were part of 4 people following his group each day, and I think he appreciated the support. He’s the golfer who plays all his irons the same length and has crazy thick grips- he also won the US Amateur and NCAA individual championship in the same year. He’s playing in the Masters soon and turning Pro after. It was awesome to talk to him and his caddie during his range session about his experience traveling the Middle East to get experience. We even got signed golf balls and hats from him. I’m hoping he does well in Augusta!
Trevor, a friend studying engineering here at Texas A&M (from the U.S.), and I got to meet a few local ex-Pats at the tournament and one invited us to come play as his guests in a few weeks, so hopefully that happens! The course was in awesome shape, as Winter is usually the best season to play here. Besides the bad sunburn, it was an awesome weekend!
Also last weekend I attended a few lectures from government officials and others- nothing too exciting but it’s always interesting to hear the government’s opinion on any pertinent topic. This time it was emerging technologies in Qatar- I’m sure some other ones will be coming soon! As always, the dinner afterwards is top-notch. The Ritz-Carlton catered back-to-back days last week and then they retweeted my compliment to them! I’m getting famous over here!
I need to get some more pictures from this one place we went to for lunch. It was called Rik’s Kountry Kitchen and was a full American-themed diner, complete with sweet tea. Not quite North Carolina standards, but the chili and chicken I had was pretty good. They have random flags on the wall- everything from the Montana state flag to a CMU School of Computer Science one. Very interesting place and worth visiting again to try their LumberJack Breakfast!
Still waiting on getting our passports returned from the government, so no Dubai this weekend which is a bummer. Last night I got 17 hours of sleep, so I’m feeling pretty energetic- maybe a desert trip this weekend!
It’s about a month until this year’s IMPAQT team comes to Doha. Click on the link- again, IMPAQT was the Spring Break+ Program I was selected for last year. They come to Doha for a week and get some cross-cultural immersion and visit plenty of cool places in the country. I’m excited to be a part of their trip as a project alum and meet the new team. Goodluck guys!