sarah vs the world

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

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Abort Mission - Leave Doha!

Doha is in the dustbin of history…

So it is finished. Halas as they say in Arabic. The closing ceremony has come and gone. The bump out is not finished, but my responsibilities on it have finished. Halas – really probably one of my favourite words I have learned in this crazy country – it really does sum it all up though. Finished.

The show was pretty good considering not many people really cared about putting it on. We were more concerned about the show that seemed to be getting in the way of taking it all out. The cauldron wasn’t really working very well on the night and there was the slim possibility that it wasn’t even going to descend causing an onslaught of other issues. But Allah was on our side this time and it didn’t rain, the cauldron came down, the camels and horses behaved, and the big purple inflatable genie looked fantastic. We didn’t even have to cut any of the flying this time. In fact, we added some flying elements from opening into the show. The story was probably too complicated for my liking of a closing ceremony. I prefer to have a few bands and maybe Ben Lee and just a big party…but this was cute and a bit more family oriented I suppose. Surprisingly I was able to sit in the stand for a good chunk of the show and see what it was all about. Here are a few shots from the show:

So the clean up began immediately following. And in true Doha style, the security guards disappeared and everything went back to normal. We moved our trucks in and out of the venue just fine and by 6:00am when I went home I was exhausted, but at least the hardest bits were well underway. We took a few days getting the bulk of the stuff out and slowly but surely the night shift ceased. Now that my body clock has changed several times, I think it will forgive me for a while at least.

Dawn James who looked after us all in Melbourne came across from London for the show with her niece Laura. Unfortunately for them, everyone has been asking them why on earth they would come to Doha, but they did want to visit and seeing the show was a bonus. It was cold and rainy for most of the first week they were here. One of these cold nights, I decided it was time to bring out Thanksgiving even though it was a bit late. I cooked the biggest bird I have ever made. 9.6 kilos or about 23lbs. I can’t believe it actually. It even just fit in my tiny oven. We had to borrow a few other ovens for the pumpkin cheesecake/pie and choc chip pecan pies, but we managed. Fiona and Sarah nicely made all of the 3 different kinds of mash and even some roast potatoes for PC. We also had a collection of dips for predinner appetizers. They weren’t really Thanksgiving like, but everyone loves them, so they made one last appearance. The Peggy Grubb recipes ruled again in Doha. In the end, everything was devoured. PC carved absolutely everything off the turkey with some help from Valie. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t get a photo of the turkey so no one will believe me when I tell you it was giant. It actually fed about 30 people quite happily. Definitely the biggest crowd ever as well. Who would have thought so many non-Americans would be interested in Thanksgiving? Guess everyone likes a roast turkey though! Besides it was a great excuse to drink the rest of our alcohol before we all disappeared. Overall a good time was had by all and I had a great time cooking – which of course is something I rarely do! Some of our friends from DAGOC bought Sarah and I some volunteer outfits and for about 5 minutes we wore them! Thank goodness we were contractors!

Dawn and Laura headed to Dubai the next morning bright and early while I finished up a few more things at work. We made a few trips to the airport dropping people off on their ways home. Had a few heavy nights of drinking in between. Garveys became the hang out of choice. Lots of beers and dancing to remind us that we were all nearly leaving. After too much partying, I decided that I would go to Dubai for the day on Friday. Got up real early and just went. Arrived at Dawn and Laura’s hotel and we just hung out for a bit because we had lunch reservations at the Burj al Arab. This of course is the infamous 7 star hotel in Dubai. I have to admit while I was impressed with what it looked like I did assume it would be a bit cooler. It was all decorated for Christmas which was a nice change to Doha, but it really wasn’t all that I thought it would be. Definitely worth seeing if you are in the area, but the Jumeirah Beach Hotel where Dawn stayed was a lot classier. So after lunch we headed into town to do a bit of shopping. I was on a mission to find a dress to wear for New Years. I had actually found one in Doha, but when I went back to buy it the shop had burnt down in true Doha fashion! So I found the shop in Dubai and bought it there. We had a sneaky peak at the crazy Ski Dubai man made ski attraction. Man they have so little to spend all of their money on. Again probably not as amazing as we thought it would be. From the outside it looks quite big, but on the inside it was a bit smaller than I thought. It still was pretty strange. People were skiing and kids were sledding. After our shopping trip we headed back to Doha. The countdown till the Maldives was on!

Spent one day just buying the last of my Christmas presents and packing up my entire apartment. Was extremely surprised how much stuff I actually acquired during my time in Doha. Had to post a few items to all parts of the world. Christmas eve was spent in Doha airport waiting for our plane to leave. Unfortunately it wasn’t the last time I would be leaving Doha, but at least we were heading somewhere amazing. Here we are getting ready to open our presents...more to come from the Maldives soon!

This brings this post to a close for now. I now cordially invite you all to roll up for the Sarah Grubb Magical Mystery Tour. First stop Raa Atoll Maldives! Then London, Copenhagen, Oslo, and who knows where…maybe even Rio!! Gotta get use to being a nomad. Got too many places to go and too much to see.

Have a great holiday season, wherever you are.

All my love,


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