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The Girl With Pink Hair

Not all that glitters is gold, not all who wander are lost

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Hitching a ride up the sand dunes in Qatar

The concept of hitching a ride has never made it to Singapore and was probably something all parents tell their kids to never do. However, something about being in a foreign country heightened our sense of adventure as we threw caution to the wind.

Anyway, we had planned for a trip to check out the sand dunes at Sealine beach along Mesaieed in Qatar on our precious Friday off but just as we were reaching, we realized that we took the wrong car out! Our car was never going to be able to make it simply because it wasn’t a four wheel drive. Refusing to give up, we decided to head in on foot. Of course nothing ever went as planned, a few steps later, we hitched a ride with a local and off we went!

Our new found friend, Mubarak, who was reducing the air from his tires to ensure that his car is able to travel on the soft sand.

Sealine beach, Mesaieed, Qatar

With us aboard, he brought us on a super fun rollercoaster ride up and down the sand dunes with all the other crazy cars! After which, he offered to bring us further in to take awesome shots! It ended up being a 1.5 hours ride into the desert and another 1.5 hours out.

Driving by the beach.

Sand dunes at Sealine Beach, Mesaieed, Qatar

Our first photo stop.

Sand dunes at Sealine Beach, Mesaieed, Qatar

If you look closely, you’ll see that we left a message for a fellow car.

Sand dunes at Sealine Beach, Mesaieed, Qatar

Surprised to see a tourist spot with tourists in the middle of the desert on a gloomy day.

Sand dunes at Sealine Beach, Mesaieed, Qatar

Gorgeous patterns on the wind blown sand.

Sand dunes at Sealine Beach, Mesaieed, Qatar

Stopping for tea with other locals who joined us to ruin the gorgeous patterns on the sand with our foot prints. Hahaha.

Sand dunes at Sealine Beach, Mesaieed, Qatar

It was the perfect weather for a trip out to the dunes. Super windy with a slight drizzle.

Sand dunes at Sealine Beach, Mesaieed, Qatar

Feeling like I’m at the top of the world.

Sand dunes at Sealine Beach, Mesaieed, Qatar

There was a time when emo shots were in trend.

Sand dunes at Sealine Beach, Mesaieed, Qatar

Went slightly further in to check out the borders of Saudi and Qatar just across a thin strip of sea before we called it a day and started heading back.

Across Saudi at the sand dunes at Sealine Beach, Mesaieed, Qatar

Our awesome guide and new found friend. Thank you for an amazing day!

Sand dunes at Sealine Beach, Mesaieed, Qatar

Sand dunes at Sealine Beach, Mesaieed, Qatar

It is moments like this that make me want to travel around the world. So much to see, so little time.

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Doha Tribecca Film Festival 2011

One of my trips to Qatar actually coincide with the annual Doha Tribecca Film Festival held at Katara Cultural Village so we decided to make a trip down to check it out.

Dinner at my all time fav Rotana to avoid the crowd/jam before heading down to Katara. Super awesome grilled fish, corn soup and chilli!

Instead of joining the crowd (was there any?) at the red carpet, we arrived only after the showing of Black Gold had started. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get any tickets.

The grand entrance to the amphitheatre. I can totally imagine how the scene would unfold in ancient Egypt days, trumpets blowing, servants dragging the heavy doors open as the Pharaoh arrives in his golden chariot pulled by 2 beautiful black stallions. Hurhur.

Through the doors into the super cool amphitheater constructed like those in ancient Rome to amplify sounds from the centre naturally. Boss tried singing some weird unknown song in the middle while I was at the top row and it works! Super cool!

A local couple on a date.

Obvious discrimination against black pigeons. Was told by the locals that only white pigeons are allowed in these pigeon towers and the black ones would be shot. Not sure how true that is.

Man made beach with pretty lightings. It costs 100QR just to hang out on the beach.

Super cool open air, air conditioned cafe!

Cupcakes from Red Velvet made specially for the occasion.

Expensive peanut butter cupcake with superb service from the staff.

Some other photos taken in Qatar.

A rare sight, clouds in the sky, so low it cast a shadow on the desert.

The last sunset I saw on that trip. Super pretty.

This is what friends do when you can’t be bothered to wash your car.

Hurhur.

Dinner at Turkey Central. Awesome food. Love the food in Qatar! =D

Dream apartment – Fraser Suites

Got to stay at Fraser Suites in Doha on my previous trip to Qatar. Bosses weren’t too happy with the service at Holiday Villa and thus wanted to try out another place. And so, I got to stay there for a night and I totally loved the place!

Loved the full length windows and the simplicity of the place. Small but cosy. Comes with a fully equipped kitchen; toaster, oven, stainless steel pots and pans, baking equipment, basically everything! And a rectangular dining table which is nicely set, with water glasses, plates and napkins, for four.

Nothing scary about staying alone but instead felt very much at home slacking on the sofa and reading in bed (with a reading light!) and iPhone dock by the bed.

What I loved most, was waking up when the room was completely bright even though it was only 6am. Made waking up a lot easier unlike in Singapore where I’ve to wake up when the sky is dark.

Breakfast was filled with all kinds of pastries and cake, strawberries, bananas, yoghurt, personal pots of coffee and bottles of Evian. I don’t usually drink Evian since I really can’t justify paying that much for a bottle of water. Anyway, best stay ever!

Maybe cause it was newly open and there were road construction going on everywhere, directions to the place on google was wrong and I almost missed my flight! Was going round in circles for almost an hour being unable to locate the place. Super thankful for KY’s intuition and getting us safely back where I showered in record time while they packed for me and I left for the airport with water dripping from my hair. Hurhur.

Some other photos taken in Qatar:

One of the “streets” in Souk selling tons of shawls.

Coffee @ Second Cup.

Mcdees for lunch every alternate day. No complains though. =P

Skyline of Doha

Locals at Starbucks. =P

Car rides

Why do we close our eyes when bracing for something negative? Does it help to not see?

While many complain about the long ride to site each morning, I really do enjoy it. It is somehow soothing and peaceful, kinda like meditation. Not that I’ve tried meditation.  An hour’s journey without much traffic, watching the landscape of earth colours change from that of a city, to a sparsely populated industrial area then an endless stretch of powelines against the beautiful sand and sky and finally, to nothing but an endless stretch of sand. The roads here are so and straight that it vanishes into nothing. There’s this turn at a junction in the middle of the desert which I particularly like, with over 10 random signs stuck at the edge of the sand in the middle of nowhere.

These photos do no justice to the beauty but its the best I have for now.

 Leaving the city.

To nothing but sand.

Where the bosses poked fun at this pipeline above the sand. An engineering disgrace, they said. To think they demanded so much from us. Hurhur.

There’s beauty to everything, if only we open our minds and hearts to it.

The weather is crazily hot and it’s not even the worst. Utmost respect to the guys out there at site. On the other hand, the same orange circle that brings about such temperatures also displays such picture perfect sights. Even with the heat, one can’t help but stop and stare for a little while.

Just checked into Fraser Suites in Doha. It’s amazing! Couldn’t help dancing around a little. It’s exactly the kind of apartment I would like to stay in if I were to be living abroad alone.

Off to catch up on my reading before turning.

Is it the look in your eyes

Or is it this dancing juice?

Who cares, baby

I think I wanna marry you

Day 1 in Qatar. Again.

So a year and a half has passed and I’ve not blogged about my previous trip.

Humans are forgetful, truly. Then, I told myself that I would never return to Qatar, less than half a year later, I had forgotten the bad and only remembered the good times. The friends that I had made, the awesome food, the countless firsts and all that I’ve learnt. Another year later, I’m back again. Same country, same company but with different people for a different project. This time, not as HR.

Comfort is totally overrated. When in our comfort zones, we tend to learn lesser. The greatest experiences and lessons learnt are more often than not, in the face of adversity. And so, embrace I shall.

=)

Was greeted by the huge rising sun upon touching down.

Super cute round toilet bowl at the hotel while the toilet bowls at site are square shaped. Hurhur.

At night, it becomes an endless stretch of red lights. Pretty.

The setting sky at site.

The end of my 29 hours Monday. =)

 

 

Work trip to Qatar

Despite being given the opportunity to travel to middle east for work, my blog has been filled with only complaints about work. And so, after being inspired by other interesting blogs, I’ve decided to blog a bit about my trip to Qatar.

My luggage half filled with food.

Here’s my room for the first trip up.

My first meal in Qatar, Turkish cai peng which sucked. =X

The ‘CBD’ area of Doha. They have really impressive buildings (which doesn’t appear so from the photo) but all half empty or totally deserted.

My ‘welcome’ drink, cocktail. Its a mixture of all kinds of fruits which tastes quite weird. Had to force it all down out of politeness.

Goodness. This is really boring. Shall blog about my only interesting experience there some time soon.

Meanwhile, more boring photos.

Nah. I give up.

Living in Qatar

Interesting (interesting being subjective) things I had encountered during my short stay in Qatar

1) There are no addresses in Qatar. the office address on the namecards goes something like this: C ring road, Business building, 2nd Floor, near Jaidah flyover. Made it kinda difficult and troublesome for deliveries and of course made me appreciative of the address system in Singapore which I’ve long taken for granted. :P

2) Its dangerous to fall down in summer as the floor is hot enough to burn your skin.

3) The working hours for Qataris are 8am to 12pm and 4pm to 8pm as 12pm to 4pm is generally too hot to work. Though in practice they usually only work 2 to 3 hours in the morning.

4) Wearing the abaya actually keeps the body cooler than wearing normal clothes.

5) Ladies are given priority at government agencies and do not need to queue. But of course, being a Singaporean, I’m too used to queuing.

6) The local men and women don’t get to know each other before marrige. A marriage proposal typically goes this way: “eh you have a sister? can I marry her?” And there you go, a marriage in the making.

7) Contrary to the information found online, Qatar is relatively modern and it’s fine wearing skirts that reveal your knees, sandals and sleeveless tops.

8 ) The number of trees in a person’s house reflects his wealth. Apparently it’s too costly to constantly water the plants. THOUGH the electrical/water bill is being paid for.

9) There’s no 6 piece nuggets meal, there’s only 9 piece nuggets at Macdonalds’.

10) No chilli sauce is given at fast food restaurants. Weird since people in the country seem to love spicy food.

11) Pavements are not strictly for pedestrians. Pavements are also used for parking, overtaking and u-turns. WTH.

12) Every accident has to be reported to the police. No repairs, major or minor can be done without a police report. Is this the same in SG?

13) Shops are closed during prayer times on Fridays and men are not allowed to enter shopping centres without a female accompanying. My colleague was rejected entry just when he really needed to pee. Lol.

14) All major supermarkets operate till 12am. Most shops close pretty late at around 11pm.

That’s all for now. :) :) :)

Miss seeing Audrey do the self stabbing action :P

Post post

At the airport waiting for my flight back home, I COMING HOME BABY!! =D =D =D

Listening to the tunes on my lappy feeling relatively relieved and of course eager to be home. =)

I did something rather unprofessional earlier on, I kinda regretted it but whats done is done. The next time something similar happens, I know I’ll handle it better. I will.

Anyway, that bloody incompetent asshole came to look for me while I was at the usual coffee hang out and requested to speak to me but I refused to even look at him. Okay I know my behavior is bloody childish but I just couldn’t bring myself to at that point of time. Like I said, I regretted it and I know I will handle it better next time.

Come on lah, you made a big fuss on my last day as your last struggle to keep me here and when you finally realized it was not working, you shoot my boss then shoot me cc-ing the whole world. I’m at the very edge now, I don’t know how much more I can handle from this project.

Of course, there’s a silver lining to every grey cloud. My silver lining, is LF. I’m honestly ever so thankful for him. Only you can see the good in me when I’m at my worst. I hated the EMO kid I was becoming, I hated how I couldn’t stop crying, hated how I could never control my emotions, hated the person I was becoming here. Through my every tear and every outburst, you were always there for me. Thank you. Thank you for always being there for me, for encouraging me and pushing me on. You don’t know how much it means to me, what you said to me today. It doesn’t really matter what the world may think of me, because you can see the best in me even when I’m down and out.

Thank you for being such an amazing bf =)

My mom sms-ed me earlier to see that she’s looking forward to me being home as it has been so quiet without me. Hurhur. See, I knew she missed me and my noisiness!

This trip has really brought out the worst in me, pushed my tolerance to its breaking point and tested my patience. I’ve worked with the nationalities I’ve never worked with before, struggled with their working styles while trying to understand their culture and encountered the worst work attitude ever. I’ve been made a sacrificial goat, saw the true colours of those I once thought were good and realized I had misjudged others. I’ve experience the level of politics I never knew existed, I’ve gave it my best shot, put in my best effort but still failed to get things done.

I learnt that life doesn’t always go the way you want it to but regardless, life still goes on. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. I can only hope thats true.

Boarding in approximately 30 mins! =D

Beauty sleep

Been pondering about this for awhile since I’ve been here. I have been told/read that the optimal time for ‘beauty sleep’ is between 11pm to 2am or 3am. Thats supposedly the best time for your body to rejuvenate. BUT, you see, what about time differences? Say now that I’m in Qatar, where it is 5 hours behind Singapore and 11pm here is 4am in Singapore. How does my body recognize that it is 11pm now? The tuning of my biological clock while I am here? Which leads me to conclude that its really the sleeping pattern, and not the timing, that determines an individual’s optimal time for beauty sleep. Say if I were to sleep at 2am every night and wake up at say, 9am, my body would then adapt to this cycle and then probably decide that the time to rejuvenate is 3am to 6am? Its a matter of how you tune your body clock to recognize the time it should rejuvenate the cells or whatever. And therefore, sleeping late is not the cause to all bodily illnesses or beauty problems, it is inconsistent sleep cycles.

Ooooh. I should like do some scientific research and then publish some papers on this. Hurhur.

I really miss BKK.

Second love of my life. If only I could marry McMayor and eat him up on our wedding night. Hurhur.

3 more days till I’m on my way home. Really looking forward. Can’t believe that I’ve been away from home for 1 full month! The longest ever. Now I’m staring at the dirty clothes at the end of my bed, grocery bags on the floor and my open luggage half filled with chocolates. Its a messy sight. I’m normally not that messy. Really. =X

I actually feel a teeny weeny bit of sadness, at leaving the people I’ve come to like. From strangers to friends.

Kim Yen who accompanies me anywhere I wanna go.

Audrey and her husband, would have died from boredom or hunger without them.

And this is Chris Poh and Chris Chan. You would think I was pointing a gun at them and not a camera. -.- Thought the both of them looked cute as they waited impatiently for us against each side of the wall, so I turned my camera lens towards them and their reactions were immediate. Both really nice despite their ‘cool’ outlook and today, I realized that Chris Poh is actually very responsible. Hurhur.

And of course, the rest whose little actions made my days here brighter, not forgetting the ones who gave me trouble which only made me stronger.

=)

Till we meet again..

Which is, tomorrow, at the basement as we make our way to work. =P

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