A little taste of Doha

I went down to the “Najma” area of Doha last night to get some pipes and curtain parts. In Najma there is a souk where you can get almost anything from used furniture to plumbing parts to used air conditioners. I went there to get some blackout curtains for our home (the sun is coming up at 5:00am these days and it is kind of nice to keep it dark until a little close to wake up time) as well as some pipes (to fix a couple of parts of our trampoline) and some kind of bar to bolt to the house to hang a swing from for the kids. I should first say that this souk is one of those unique places in Doha where you really feel you are a part of the “life” of Doha. It is full of men standing around with wheelbarrows and trucks, ready to drive your stuff home. Inside you will get “mobbed” by men trying to help you buy things, etc. I hit the souk and looked for the first shop I could find that had the words “Curtain” in English. I actually remembered a very important thing, a sample. I carried my sample of blackout curtains into the shop and haggled for a set of three of them. (By the was, if you are getting curtains, make sure you OVER estimate size, the ones I bought barely fit) Next stop was a hardware store for the pipes to fix the trampoline. I tried three shops before I found someone who had the pipes I needed. After negotiating the price I asked them to cut the pipe so that it would fit in my car (a 30 second job) One of the guys started cutting for a second, then stopped and said something in Hindi. His friend translated: He was asking how much I was going to pay for the cut. I laughed out loud, realizing they had me cornered. It wasn’t going to fit in my car unless they cut it. So I got them down to 10 QAR ($2.75) for cutting three pipes (one was a pretty large square pipe) and then set off to get my “swing bar”. It turned out that I needed to find a welder. Of course there was a guy standing around right outside the pipe shop that was willing to do the work for me. He did not speak English but I did understand “sayara” which means car. So I followed him to his truck where his welding stuff was. After spending 30 minutes trying to get his welder started with no luck we were both sweating. Poor guy. He was middle aged and I felt a little bad that he was out there trying to get his welder going. So I helped him load up his welder (that thing was sooo heavy) and set of for home. It was a long night of haggling and sweating but in the end I got 2 out of 3 things done, which for a night in Doha, is pretty good! Below is a quick shot I took of the guy’s welding truck. Enjoy!

One thought on “A little taste of Doha

  1. That was fun to read and I could definitely picture the whole experience. Good thing to do on your own and not carrying the kids along. Or…maybe you would of gotten a cheaper price on things if you had the kids? But, that would of taken 3 times as long…so nevermind.

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