Friday, January 10, 2014

Where The Sidewalk Ends...

There is a place where the sidewalk ends 
And before the street begins, And there the grass grows soft and white, 
And there the sun burns crimson bright, 
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight To cool in the peppermint wind.
- Shel Silverstein

I like Doha, I really do. There are so many great and wonderful aspects to living here. I am able to stay at home with JJ, we have the Persian Gulf (the PERSIAN GULF!) immediately outside our building, the weather is pretty darned perfect (during the winter months at least) and it is a city keen on advancing, but interested in keeping its culture alive. I love hearing the call to prayer on the radio or in the mall, love looking around and seeing so many different cultures at play. So I like Doha and I may just grow to love it...

Something I don't love? The sidewalks... Oh. My. God. We don't have a car at the moment, nor do either of us have a driver's license. CJ walks to work every day and JJ and I typically walk to the grocery store every day or enjoy a little mall walking at City Centre.  Yes, I'm becoming a mall walker. Holy Hell.

But now that the weather had gotten nicer, something JJ and I have tried to do is walk over to The Corniche (at least) once a week. I love living near water having grown up on Lake Michigan and lived in Santa Barbara for 3 years; and any time I don't have water near me, I miss it. 

So, the other day JJ and I walked over to CJ's work (he had our only credit card) and continued on to The Corniche where we would use the crosswalk to get over to our grocery store. 

Now, it's always hairy and a little dicey walking in this city. Sometimes I feel like I'm playing a live version of Frogger. It's not enjoyable. A lot of times, the sidewalk looks as though it is fine and then it stops. Just ends. My luck is that it is usually on an incredibly busy street. Other times there are cars simply parked on the sidewalk... CJ likes to say, "Where my car is, is where it should be." This seems to be the Qatar mentality and it drives me insane. 

Look! What a nice, long (and pretty) sidewalk on a busy road!
Well, Hell. Guess they are done for now. I'll just hop up on the grassy knoll and push my stroller on the grass. 
Anyway, on the way to The Corniche, we walked through construction sites (yes, seriously) and ran against (light) traffic in a roundabout (Look Kids, Big Ben! Parliament!). We finally made it to The Corniche (my most favorite part of this city besides our home) and saw all of about 6 people total... thought it was odd, but didn't think too much about it. Then I got to our crosswalk. No, the crosswalk is gone. Sonofa. 

Apparently, after asking one mother (she had two young boys with her) how they got on to the Corniche, she informed me they ran across the road and through construction as well... Like crawled over barricades and everything. I had a stroller with JJ inside and was done risking both of our lives, plus, I can't lift the stroller over the barricades by myself. 

So, I ended up just walking... and walking... and walking. Thank God for my FitBit Zip as it gave me some joy after seeing how far I walked. Some. 

And while we were on The Corniche, after a few tears (seriously trapped), JJ and I enjoyed a photo shoot. Because, well, why not? Lemons into lemonade type of thing.

Such a trooper. God, I love this kid.

To show how I'm not making this up, here are a couple of examples of the asinine sidewalks here in Doha. #OhDoha

Where my car is, is where it should be...
Who cares that it is blocking the sidewalk? 
It is kindof fun to see a Lamborghini though; albeit still frustrating. At least this sidewalk is on the larger size and we can walk around this sexy beast.

This is my favorite... check out the curb and then where the pedestrian walkway is located. Sometimes there will be an on / off ramp on one side and on the other side? Nothing. You have to kick up the stroller to get back on the sidewalk.