Note from Trip to CMU-Qatar (Doha)

3 odd things I saw:

-A many on top of a crane at a construction-site, operating the crane without a hard-hat, tether or tool belt
-Most of the people I saw last night appeared to dress in black and white. The women in black Abayas and the men in Thobes. I have the feeling, the longer I am here, the more color I will perceive. But for now, everyone (including me, in trying to fit in) are dressed in black and white.
-The bay is *beautiful*. My roommate and I tried to find the Pearl, Doha’s Angel Island, but weren’t sure which one it was. Our room has three walls of windows and we are surrounded on three sides by water. It’s, again, like San Francisco Bay.

3 odd things I heard

-Construction outside our window—in fact, construction everywhere. I guess Abu Dhabi’s slowdown hasn’t hit so hard here.
-No honking. They don’t really use stop-lights here, but turnabouts. Pictures to follow. Think DuPont Circle, not the speed reducers in Palo Alto
-Great music. I normally only hear quarter tones through my wall when my suite-mates play Indian pop, but it’s everywhere here. Cool.

3 odd things I thought/felt

-In dressing, I had to consider all sorts of cultural assumptions we were given in our orientation. Ladies must wear tops that go past the elbow. I am basically wearing my most conservative outfit from working for the Senator this summer: white men’s style dress shirt, suite jacket, navy formal pants. It is always odd for me to dress to other’s specs—I always think of it like being in a play
-I really wish I had gotten a haircut—my hair is so mop-ish right now!
-I feel guilty for not being able to call my family like I said I could–don’t worry guys, I will keep my eye out all day for somewhere I can use Skype and will email you about it!

Inspirational Quote:

“My Heart is in the Work” Andrew Carnegie

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