sarah vs the world

Not a video game, not a comic, not a band, but an amazing adventure continues...

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Still Hot in Doha

So I have been able to take a couple more photos. We had quite an adventure on Wednesday night. Amy Wee, Philby and I all went down to the Souqs. The Souqs are markets. Some of them have more traditional stuff like spices, nuts, pipes etc. Some of them have electronics. l was able to get a wireless signal booster for my apartment!

Anyway, so we came across this shop that sells toys for kids. This camel is what I came out of the shop with. We talked them down in the price because we actually left with 4 camels. If I ever work out how to post a video on here I will have to. Press a button on it and it actually sings something in Arabic...don't ask me what they are singing...and its eyes glow red! I did turn it on before I took this photo, but I don't think it has the same effect.

When we walked into the old Souq which is where the more traditional stuff is and I came across the ultimate kitschy item. I must have it. I didn't take a photo yet, but once I go back to the Souq and buy it, I will. It was a rug with the Emir's (the highest Sheik) photo weaved into it. I think it would make a great bath mat or something!! Just kidding, I will find a place for it though. I must have it!

Also while at the Souq we came across this building which is the Islamic Centre of study. They have classes in Arabic for free every Weds night and I would like to do them but I think I will be working nights mostly so I guess I may just miss out. Maybe I can organise my day off to be on Weds. You learn about the culture and how to speak Arabic. I think it would be amazing. Maybe at somepoint...The little green exposure circles on the photo is probably the humidity fogging up my camera!

Yeah so that was my trip to the Souqs. I sat in the pool most of the day on Friday and when I first got out there, the Friday prayers were being said over the PA system again. I think Allah was every second word. The water in the pool is hot, but nice for just sitting in. Had a great Seafood dinner on Friday night and lots of beers by the pool on Thurs. Must remember to drink lots of water whilst drinking beer! The dehydration factor here is so great!

Today we are going to the pub to watch Rugby Union Australia v New Zealand. Not that know anything about rugby or even care. In fact, at the moment I just want to know how my magpies are going! We do get a bit of AFL here but I think it is about 3 weeks old or maybe even 3 years old who knows! Arabic sports channels on satelite could play anything they like! Will have to catch up on the web with the Pies....Good Old Collingwood forever.....

That's about it really for now. Finally starting to get a bit of colour in my skin. Come December I will carry a permanent tan I am sure! Much nicer than my pasty white Minnesota flesh. Don't think after day after day of over 100f/40c I will ever be ready for Minnesota winter, but we can wait and see! Might head back there when it gets a bit warmer maybe....who knows. Gotta see what the next gig holds!

Love you all,

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Call me!

Monday, July 24, 2006

More From Doha

So I finally have been able to take a few photos. Not many so far, but it will give you an idea of my life here so far. Here is a photo of my lounge room. It is very posh and we have rearranged it a bit because the couches were in WORLD CUP mode. Now it is a bit friendlier but still just as posh!

The next couple of photos are of my kitchen and my bedroom. It is all very nice and thank goodness for the air conditioning. Tonight I am going to go for a swim in our pool a bit later on after dinner. The water is 30c/86f, but when it has been 45/113 all day it does feel quite nice. The humidity is starting to creep up on us a bit. Apparently it will be 90% humidity and 50C/122F for most of August!

Some things I have learned about Doha:
1. The sun comes up at 4am and sets at about 7pm
2. It is hot or less hot, never cool.
3. You need to pay attention to the color of your pee so you don't get too dehydrated!
4. Humidity + Temperature = not comfortable.
5. The local women are pretty much confined to their houses except on the weekend when they all go shopping.
6. You can only own land if you are a true Qatari citizen.
7. The locals actually pronounce it KATar.
8. Petrol costs .7QR/litre or 19US Cents or 25 Australian Cents. That's right they might as well give it away.
9. Prayers happen 4 times a day and the one I keep noticing is at 3.30am!
10. Driving on the curb is ok if you are Qatari and bored from waiting in traffic. You must also have a massive 4 wheel drive!
11. The Golf Club must be the only place with grass in the whole country.
12. There are more cranes here than I can even describe to you.
13. Imagine what a city would look like if someone invested $130 Billion US Dollars in making it better. That's Doha.
14. It takes energy to make the water cold and it comes out of the tap hot enough to shower in it. Probably almost too hot. This hotness is what I am referring to as Dohot.
15. Only 25% of the population are Qatari - the rest are expats. A lot of westerners actually.

Basically it is really amazing so far. Work is starting to pick up a bit. Looks like we will be in for an amazing time with the show as well. Again no expenses spared. I can't wait to see it all come to fruition. To give you an idea of what I have seen thus far here is a photo of what will eventually be our stadium. It is called Khalifa Stadium after the family royalty. The tower on the far right of the photo is a new hotel being built. How much should we bet that it won't be ready? Most of Qatar looks like this. Building everywhere. Like I said, where did they get all the cranes!?!? I think we should play find the cranes in my photos. There can be a winner if you count them all! Keep track for 5 months, submit your answers and win a prize. Kind of like Where's Waldo/Wally.

Here is the view of the local area from my bedroom window.

Basically it is pretty much a giant construction site in the middle of the desert. I will take more pictures next time. I just barely ever want to be outside because it is so hot. Will do a bit more exploring on the weekend. Don't forget to keep in mind that my weekend is Friday and Saturday at the moment due to prayers.

Anyway, that's about from me for now. Will continue to email when I put a new post up. Bookmark it if you want. Remember to look out for me on Skype. Also for you Aussies, I do have my mobile here and am able to text and receive calls every once in a while. 0422 174 114.

Lots of love,

Friday, July 21, 2006

Arrival in Doha

So my adventures begin...

Congratulations. You are one of the lucky few who I have included in my updates about my adventures overseas. I can imagine that there won't be a lot of them, but probably one every couple of weeks and probably less frequent as I get busier in anticipation for the actual games themselves. If you do not wish to be included, send me an email. I won't be offended. I will even endeavour to write back to you personally, should you reply.

First of all, if you aren't aware I have started my job in Doha, Qatar working on the opening and closing ceremony for the Asian Games. To give you an idea of where it is click on

Its a tiny purple country near Saudi Arabia overlooking the Persian Gulf. Currently the high temperature is approx 113F/45C with the low temp around 95F/35C. I arrived here after flying from Melbourne to Sydney to Singapore to Bahrain and then on to Doha. It took approx 24 hours and a lot of patience, but I am here safe and sound.

The place is dry, desolate and dusty. It kind of looks like something out of the prequels in Star Wars. It is also one giant construction site. As soon as I get my camera up and happening, photos will soon follow. I can't really describe it, but you will see for yourselves soon.

My apartment is very nice. Don't really feel like I can sit on the couch because it looks so expensive. Thank goodness there is air conditioning everywhere. In fact, at the moment, it is almost too chilly in our office. I am living with a guy I went to NIDA with (Dave Wilkinson for those of you who know him), and that is proving to be a great help for adjusting to the culture shock. He has been here since January and knows about most stuff I need.

Work will initially start off a bit slow, but as I say that I am already been receiving emails about how I will need to have things accomplished by the end of this week! I am scheduling coordinator for the stadium which basically is a fancy term for spreadsheet girl. Its geeky but I love all that paperwork stuff, so I am sure it will be fun. Very similar role to what I did in Melbourne on the Commonwealth Games.

I am heading into town tonight to do a bit of shopping etc. I am sure that will be interesting. The culture is different being a Muslim state, but I am not required to fully scarf up or anything. Just be a bit conservative and probably to usually be with a guy when I am in public. I woke up a bit in the middle of the night last night to the sound of people praying in the streets at 3:30am. This will all become a bit more customary in time, but at the moment, it is crazy but educational.

As far as my safety goes, I know that is my employer's primary concern and the so much planning has gone into what to do should anything happen. We are all watching the situation in Lebanon quite closely, but again it is still relatively far removed from us as you can see on the map. There is a US Embassy and Army Base here and I will also be on the Australian Embassy in Dubai's list so I am sure there will be nothing to worry about. If anything happens, I will be home before you even realise something is happening!

So that is about it for the moment. My postal address is (would love to get some mail!) It takes approx 2-3 weeks from Australia and 2 weeks from the US, apparently.

Sarah Grubb
David Atkins Enterprises
PO BOX 24329
State Of Qatar

mobile: +974 584 8664 - expensive to call but text messages aren't so bad.
Skype: sjgrubb (should be on a lot so add me to your list and let me know your ID as well) If you don't have Skype, sign up and talk for free on Its amazing.

Hope everyone is well. I will be in touch again soon!

Lots of Love,