Thursday, November 03, 2011

Doha Delivers

Yesterday, as I was unpacking the big and beautiful boxes that finally arrived from Canada, I experienced a weird glitch in my matrix. One item I had packed was a small but beautiful Japanese calendar, covered in delicate illustrations depicting the changing weather and seasons from month to month. There it was, open to August. Hot, sunny, glowing August, illustrated with bright and sparkling colours. I flipped the pages to November where I found drawings of falling leaves in duller brown hues. And for the first time (a little slow on the uptake, yes) I was really hit by the different climate we're now living in. I stared at that calendar, imagining the November I remember of Canada, filled with cooling temperatures, frosty mornings, warm sweaters, the hum of the heater, and cups of hot tea. And then I looked up and out our (open) window to see the ever-present sun, the sand, and to hear the sounds of Kaiya riding around the compound on her bike (while wearing a skirt & a t-shirt, of course). And my mind had trouble making the proper connections. It hasn't been that strange to me yet. September and October still see their share of warm, sunny days in Canada. But let's face it... it's November now, and you guys are in for it. And while I sometimes wish I could snuggle into a warm sweater, that desire passes quickly as I remember the gray skies and the months of constantly feeling chilled. It may feel a little surreal, but I'll gladly embrace the heat and sun while I can!

So in the spirit of heat and sun, I present to you some pictures from last Friday... Family Day at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival.

Doha rocked it big time at this Festival. Things can be a little, shall we say... disorganized (?) here at the best of times, but Family Day was second to none. It was held at Katara, which has quickly become one of our favourite places to hang out, with its traditional-style buildings, pedestrian-only walkways, and of course, proximity to the beach. We received a little DTFF "passport" where we got stamps for every activity Kaiya participated in. There were eight, and if you completed them all, you won some sort of a prize (we never made it that far). First things first, Kaiya got herself a little kite. There were kites all over the place, and there were even guys on jet skis flying kites. It was really great.

The place was swarming with people, including famous ones like Robin Williams and Antonio Banderas. But we weren't really there for the movies or the fame. We were just there for the fun.

.... and for the popcorn. Kaiya finished most of this one off by herself!

She went straight for the princess one. Are we surprised? No. Candice, she still always quotes what you wrote in the "Little Miss Princess" book. "Candice says that I'm a true princess." (!)

There were all kinds of free, live performances. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see any of the big ones, held in the open air theatres, because we were kind of crunched for time, with a Halloween party to get to after. But we saw this whirling dervish. He must have spun for about 15 minutes. And then walked a straight line to get off the stage. Crazy!

A Qatari woman gave me my first henna. It's still wet in this picture. You wait about 30 minutes for it to dry, and then you can wash it off. It's starting to fade from my hands now, after having it for about a week. Jeff wanted to take pictures of the process, but the woman asked him not to.

Some of the beautiful buildings:

This was definitely one of our best days out yet. Kaiya had her face painted, got a little kite, decorated a mask, read and created some books, and we all enjoyed the people and the culture. Thank you, Doha, for showing us a good time.


Suzanne said...

That's so great! I LOVE the kites. They are majestic and beautiful. Looks like a ton of fun. Enjoy the heat my friend!

Rose said...

The buildings are amazing, and it looks like you really had a great time. Yay! As for the cool weather - it was a gorgeous 18 degrees here yesterday! But truly, the white stuff is inevitable, along with the grey skies. It's hard for me to grasp it too, that it's just going to keep being hot where you are...crazy.

Erika said...

could you pick up one of those funky tents?