Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fun Facts - Money, Drivers and Such

I have a really hard time explaining the size of Qatar.  After all it has been here for centuries and we somehow never talked about it in school.  Just how small is Qatar?
Qatar is ranked 164th in area and 148th in population amongst the world’s sovereign states.  It is a little bit smaller than Connecticut (14,357 km²) or Puerto Rico (13,792 km²), but is nearly three times as big as the USA’s smallest state, Rhode Island (4,002 km²).  - (Qatar)
Qatari Riyal 
Qatar uses the Riyal or Rial and the Dirham as currency.  Each Riyal is 100 Dirham.  The exchange on the Riyal is about 3.64 USD for every 1 Qatari Riyal.  This rate changes and I have a currency converter on my computer and my phone for quick math.  You do not see many vending machines or parking meters in Qatar so there are few situations where you can use Dirham.  In fact you will often not receive dirham when you pay as part of your change.  Or if a few dirham are part of the total the cashier will not ask you for them.  

A lot of people suggest taking a car where you want to go and not driving yourself since there wont be anywhere to park when you do arrive. For me a driver or taxi can be 40-50 RIY, which is about 10-15 USD.  A taxi can be cheaper but I find that drivers, as opposed to taxis, are more likely to know where they are going.  I would rather spend an extra 10RIY and not have to give directions or get lost.  Since I don't drive I am very oriented to landmarks, I can often get a lost cabbie home by asking if he can find Sidra Hospital.  In Qatar the taxis are blue and not yellow.  Drivers often drive Toyotas or Hondas with no markings so you cannot tell from the sidewalk if they can take you home or not.  I have lots of numbers in my cell for drivers just in case.  When I first arrived three people gave me the number of the same driver.  I took this as a good sign and I use this driver during the week to get to work and also on weekend trips. 

I've been sick this week.  I am learning many new home remedies for the common cold.  I was given a cup of tea with Zatar spice in it.  Zatar tastes a lot like thyme.  I was not feeling well and when asked how I liked the tea, I erupted in a giggle and announced that it tasted like pizza.  I have also tried chewing honey comb for my sore throat.  The honey is lovely.  It is soothing and it coats a raspy throat.  However the beeswax has no taste and once the honey is gone its a lot like old chewing gum.  I am grateful to have packed Ricola cough drops, Airborne and Sudafed.  Of course I also drink a lot of tea but that is readily available.

Sorry not so many fun pictures this time but with my nose as red as Rudolph I think I can save the photo-op for another day.

If you are bored you can always post questions in the comments and I'll try to answer those.  I haven't been out adventuring since I got sick so I don't have as much to write about.  I could give you a breakdown of my day. Worked in my cubicle, had meeting...repeat. I tease.  

Later taters, 

1 comment:

  1. Well, that gave us a better idea of the size of time, mix honey with squeeze of lemon and stir. take a spoonful when needed. Sorry your nose is irritated etc. We would like to know what you really do at work? Order books for library, read them and write out how you liked the book etc.? Do they have any American style radio station for newbies? Cape and Matter Horn wishing you a better new week...