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Published: October 18th 2017
Hello my fellow travellers!
Today I once again started in a very leisure pace with a dip in the pool of the compound. I tried to contact Kerry's jet ski guy but got no reply and with the desert tour costing an arm and a leg I went for the free museum option that I had checked out yesterday.
Since I still had value left on my bus card I decided to go to the centre by bus. It turned out though that google maps had the location of the bus stop wrong due to the construction work so I ended up missing the first bus and spent a lovely half hour sitting together with a local in the shade of a traffic sign, stubbornly waving off taxi after taxi.
When the bus finally came I could get into the city, more dead than alive. Once I reached the bus station I made my way over to the first of the four museums that make up the Msheireb Museums. On the way I waved of a couple more taxi drivers but I like that they aren't imposing at all here, if you say no they will respect it
and wish you a good day with a smile.
The first museum, the Mohammed Bin Jassim House
is about the history and the future of the Msheireb area. It was really nice and not only was it free but they also greeted you at the door with complimentary bottles of water!
From the first museum I went across the street to the Al Koot Fort
and grabbed a bit to eat before continuing with the second museum. The second museum, the Radwani House
, is housed in a traditional courtyard house and displays the traditional way of life in Qatar. It is also really well put together and here you are also greeted with a complimentary bottle of water.
The third museum, the Company House, really made an impression on me as it was dedicated to the people who took the gruesome job of working at the oil fields. It contains their life stories and a powerful message to the current generation who, thanks to them, have the possibility to grow up in prosperity.
However, the best museum of them all was the last one, the Bin Jelmood House
. It's located in the house of a former
slave owner and tackles the difficult subject of Slavery. It was really well thought out and covers slavery all the way from ancient times up until modern trafficking both domestic and international. At the end of the museum you are asked to pledge to spread awareness of the issue!
After the conclusion of the final museum it was time to return to Kerry and Trudi and my plan was to use the last charge on my bus card. It turned out that even though the actual fare was available I needed an additional nine riyal to actually start the trip and you can't refill on the busses.
I therefore made my way back to the central bus station but apparently I couldn't refill my card with VISA, only cash. I asked if they could do something for me so I was sent to the traffic controllers office and he got me on a bus free of charge. Unfortunately it turned out to not go to the station I needed so I had to jump of about a kilometre from Kerry's compound and then walk along the highway in the dark with no pedestrian area and finally cross a
heavily trafficked roundabout at the mercy of the kindness of the drivers to let me pass.
I made it through alive though, a modern kind of adventure so to say. Sweaty and worn out I met up with Trudi and collected my stuff before we went to pick up Kerry after a theatre rehearsal. Together we then all went to eat a nice Thai dinner that Kerry and Trudi treated me to which was really generous of them!
Finally they drove me to the airport where we said our goodbyes before I boarded the plane bound for Japan.
I had a really good time in Doha thanks to Kerry, Trudi and Belal! And thanks to their generosity I hardly spent any money at all here. I think my total expenditure for all three and a half days landed at roughly 230 riyal and most of that was at the expensive restaurant I ate after my time in the Museum of Islamic Arts.
I will land quite late in Narita due to the time difference and after that I need to make my way over to my host so I expect that my first day in Japan
will be quite uneventful.
Coming back to Japan will be wonderful though, I have really missed it a lot in the 18 months that have passed since my last visit. I look forward to meeting Junko, Takae, Yasuyo and everyone else so much. This time I will come there for the Kakegawa Matsuri
which is an autumn festival and I expect that it will be an unforgettable experience! I will also meet a girl from Argentina that is a friend of Junko that will be visiting at the same time as me. I think that we will all get along really well! Unfortunately I won't be able to meet Anzu this time which is a shame, we had so much fun together last year!
Before I meet them in Shizuoka I will go to Nikko and Kamakura though and while I'm visiting those cities I will be staying with Ichiro in Tokyo, if possible I will also meet Ryosuke again but I know he's starting a new job so we might not be able to meet this time.
Until tomorrow I wish you all peace and happy travels!
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