Friday, February 12, 2010

another stray journal entry from qatar...blah, blah, blah.

the hotel is a wonderland. i'm led to my room, given a tour of its features by a man who first asks permission to enter, then speaks in an east indian accent so thick that i miss all details and just nod my head when it seems appropriate.

i have a room with a balcony all to myself. at first i'm tired. but soon i'm unpacking, figuring out the computer hook up, indulging in room service, wearing the bathrobe and slippers. everything is beautiful.

best. business. trip. ever.

and suddenly it's 3am. i have to get up at 6:30 and i can't sleep at all. which leads me to a very jet-lagged state.

breakfast is exquisite. there is simply no other choice than to use such words. it's not bourgeoishy. it's regal. i want to eat everything, and damn near do. yogurt and honey, nuts and granola, a ton of fruit, smoothies, coffee, pastries. there are beans and cheese and olives. my eyes are bigger than my stomach but at this rate the latter just might catch up, and by the time the event comes, that carefully tailored royal wedding outfit may not fit.

we meet with the organizers and it seems not be be a coincidence that i've arrived early, as i've been given a role as one of the two lead captains.

i see my old friend robert in the lobby. the one who is responsible for my being here. the one i've known for ten years. the one i haven't seen since the time he voluntarily did sanit at my white box fund-raising auction two years ago. i rush toward him, ready for a big bear hug. he very meaningfully stops my impulse by extending his hand to shake. doh! already i forget. all public displays of affection between unmarried people of the opposite sex are illegal, punishable by law. i can't even get away with a christian side hug here!

after breakfast we explore the stunningly beautiful and deserted indoor and outdoor pools. the hot tub resembles one of those rooms at the met museum of art in the islamic art section--the recreated tiled harem.

today is supposed to be our day to chill here, but our new boss is so excited we're here that we're whisked to the site, my arms reaching back with claws extended. MUST HAVE POOL!!! supposedly you can walk right through the golf course, down to a dock and swim in the gulf. i want to be there now!! but after our walk through, we now wait from 11 to 1. there is no driving due to prayer. they will serve us lunch in an hour. somehow, i am ravenous again. incredible.

i am also tortured by that oh so familiar feeling of being unable to photograph. it seems that i won't have an opportunity to take my camera out of the hotel.
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