On our second day in Doha we had a half day tour organised to go out into the desert and go 4×4’ing up and down the sand dunes.
Initially we thought we would be the only people going but we picked up another couple on our way out to the dunes – an older couple from India who spoke enough English for them to make conversation with us, which was interesting as we discovered, due to the extreme culture differences. The husband played a ’20 questions’ game of sorts with us, enquiring where we were from, what our education was, what our parents did etc. He didn’t seem to understand why we lived so far away from our parents, and also seemed quite confused that we weren’t married but we travel together. He told us about his daughter, who is a doctor, who he is finding a husband for, and asked if that was also the way in Australia – arranged marriages. We tried to explain that it wasn’t, but he seemed to think that the parents could choose but it wasn’t necessary. 😛
It was quite eye opening to hear that this sort of tradition continues in such a modern world, and even more so that his daughter was obviously educated with a career, and yet would still be ‘found a husband’ by her parents.
He also didn’t make much conversation after asking what God we worship, and us answering that we don’t…
But they were a nice couple none the less, and it was funny having the wife clutch at my arm and giggle every time the 4WD went up or down a large dune!
The desert was pretty amazing -the only highlight of visiting Doha really for us. We also saw an inland sea, and stopped at the sealine where you could see across the water to the coast of Saudi Arabia.
After the sun had gone down we headed out to the Souq Waqif (market)… to be honest, it wasn’t what I had expected at all. Maybe I was a bit naieve in thinking it would be a bit more traditional. BUT we got to see FALCONS at the Falcon Souq as it was open that night!