Page 4 of lexispence10 Travel Blog Posts

Middle East » Qatar » Doha December 14th 2013

The last few weeks have been extremely difficult at work. I've been engineering manager for less than a month and I've already let two people go from my group. Am I a tyrant? These guys have a 3-month probation period - pretty hard to screw up in a company and a region where we really need people. Somehow they still managed to do it! While I'm still short on geologists and engineers, I think those that remain are incredible. I really like our team and I hope to expand it in the coming weeks. The first guy was a geologist who apparently could not be trained and did nothing from as far as I could tell. So, when his visa run came up I said we needed to have a talk when he returned to discuss ... read more
Beautiful goat ears
Metallic pink corvette
Grand Hyatt

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai December 6th 2013

My flight from Doha was super late. And delayed. We arrived after 2am. Since my passport expired last month, I have to renew my e-gate. Apparently, at this time of night and in the Emirates terminal, this is fruitless. I was still able to go through the e-gate station without having to wait through customs, but I doubt they'll let this happen a third time. Therefore, I did not get home until almost 4am. Jamie, Addi and I planned to leave a little after 9am to reach Aquaventure at the Atlantis on the Palm at 10:00. I had to take a good shower to shave my legs - it's been weeks. At least... Hope I didn't clog the drain! We drove to the Palm, parked and took a shuttle to the water park. Jamie had booked ... read more
Through the aquarium
Cabana fun!
Group raft ride

Middle East » Qatar » Doha November 30th 2013

This is a blog I've debated writing for a while now, but it is the one that exposes my biggest problem with clashes in culture. It is the expat culture. As you all know, there is a gender ratio of approximately 9:1 here. Most of the country is made up of expats - generally people from the subcontinent or westerners (mostly Europeans). Ironically, I have never felt that the pickings are slim more than they are here. We kind of touched on this subject last night while waiting for dinner. My boss's wife asked me if I had any troubles working here. I said, actually I have had more trouble working in the US than here and I hadn't had problems with the men from the subcontinent - they do what I say. Their reasons why ... read more

Middle East » Qatar » Doha November 29th 2013

Well, I successfully made my first full Thanksgiving dinner all on my own and it went pretty well. And it was here in Qatar! I invited some coworkers to share my most favorite holiday with me - I wish I could have invited more, but I have a small apartment. I'd been shopping for the past two weeks in preparation, including a table that would work for the dinner. I wound up finding one at IKEA that was perfect - a long table with two leaves. It said it sat eight, but we wound up seating 13 pretty comfortably... It only took me two and a half hours to put together and I was so proud of myself! Until I realized that I didn't know how to flip it. It weighed over a hundred pounds and ... read more
Christmas Tree
Sam and Melinda
Green bean casserole, stuff, garlic mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole

Middle East » Qatar » Doha November 25th 2013

I continually think about blogs I would like to write to update you on life here, but I am so exhausted at the end of the day it just doesn't happen. Let's see if I can remember what I wanted to tell you: Rainstorm! As we had last October, we finally got our first rainstorm. Yay! I had been waiting for ages for it. The summer stretched well into November, so the cooler weather and rain was a welcome change. It rained off and on for a few days. I went on a site inspection and came back in the afternoon to rain pounding on our office roof. I went outside to take it all in as a tremendous thunderstorm also was occurring. It made me so happy! It reminded me of my dad and I ... read more
Sunset in the Aspire Zone
Rain clouds in the industrial area

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai November 11th 2013

After the dreadful last few weeks of work, I was looking forward to taking a break in Dubai. I'd been promising friends that I'd come visit and had to keep postponing because I was working such crazy hours. I got in Wednesday night and headed to the office on thursday to meet with my manager. I am now officially the Engineering Manager of our Qatar branch! Woohoo!!!! Now, I just need to finalize that in writing... I also got to see a bunch of my old coworkers who I almost never get to see or even talk to anymore. I miss a lot of these people, but I do like the atmosphere of our dirty old office in Qatar better. I was a little bummed because I was in Dubai for almost four days and plans ... read more
Italian Festival

Middle East » Qatar » Doha November 2nd 2013

This was, and probably still is, a whiny post. Sorry in advance, but since I got back from Madrid, life has been difficult. I'm deleting some of the blatant whininess, but this is an update on my work life... I had my camera out one day last week because I was taking photos of four sheep in the back of a pickup. I thought at first they were eating or drinking since their heads were all hunkered down in the bed of the truck. Sadly, I realized they were tied on short leashes to a single pole in the back. Felt so bad for them. About ten minutes later, I am exiting the freeway on the busy curved off-ramp to get onto the road to work, when I notice the land cruiser behind me passing the ... read more

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid October 18th 2013

I woke up refreshed and wondering how I was going to spend my last day. One of the strange things about Madrid this time of year: The sun doesn't come up until after 8am!!! So weird. I took my time packing, then planned to check out early, but it was a madhouse downstairs; a group of about 20 people were checking out and I saw three more people coming. Since I didn't have to check out until noon, I just left my stuff upstairs and headed to breakfast. I went to a little cafe down the street that I'd seen when walking to my friends' hotel. It was good! I just had a tea and pumpkin and goat cheese quiche - yu-um. Then I strolled towards El Retiro Park to take some photos. Some of the ... read more
architecture view from Retiro Park
Retiro Park
Cava Baja

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Segovia October 17th 2013

Both my sister and colleague had suggested that for a day trip, Toledo was the best choice. But I still didn't know why it was so great (Man of La Mancha, El Greco - these are some of the things I think). So, after we discussed, we decided on Segovia. I'm huge into old history and Segovia has the Roman Aqueduct and a castle - yeah, that is more me. Jamie and Addi didn't really care and came along for the ride. We had discussed the route the night before, but when I check the map in the morning, I realized we'd erred in our plans. So, if you decide to go to Segovia from Madrid, here is what I suggest: There is a fast train (less than 30 minutes) from Madrid Chamartin station. If you ... read more
To Segovia
Segovia - Alcazar Castle
Segovia - Cathedral

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid October 16th 2013

My second day in Madrid, I actually got to sleep in. Sleep in!!! Like, I woke up at 9am, took a shower, had a huge breakfast, and lounged around until it was time to meet up with Jamie and Addi at 11. The breakfast was good, but at 17 euros was not worth it; nevertheless, I had lots of fruit, eggs and BACON. :) We met up and made our way over to the Royal Palace. We arrived just in time to see the changing of the guard, a ceremony that only happens on Wednesdays. We hadn't planned it, it just happened, one of many of our lucky timings this trip. My friend had recommended we take the guided tour and he was so very right. There were lots of kids groups at or near the ... read more
"We are NOT going in there!"
No helado aquí
Sequence 8 show

Tot: 0.268s; Tpl: 0.012s; cc: 8; qc: 101; dbt: 0.0655s; 101; m:apollo w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 6.6mb