It was a rough first day.
My flights were: AUS-DFW, DFW-LHR, LHR-DOH.
American Airlines was quick to mess with my plans by delaying the AUS-DFW flight. But only 10 minutes at a time so that I can’t look for alternatives before missing a connection. I made it to the gate of my connecting flight 3 minutes after it closed.
I was instead forced to stay the night in Dallas (not the airline’s fault of course, so hotel’s on me) and put on a flight that lands me in Doha with barely enough time to get to my first match with suitcase and all.
Thankfully, I went to the airport early and straight to beg to a really nice AA lady, using my best sad kitten eyes face . She got me on an earlier flight direct to Doha! That gave me enough time to go to the apartment, shower, eat, nap, then to the two matches! Sure, it was a middle seat all the way to the back in a 15 hour flight. But I was going to make it! No complaints.
I was impressed at the big and modern airport. And most impressed at the speed and efficiency of immigration. Wow! Will everything in Qatar be this fast and efficient? (Narrator: no, it won’t).
The apartment we got is in a small building that is definitely not new in some random Doha neighborhood. It absolutely demolished my expectations though. It is simple with no luxury, but perfect: Large, comfortable, newly renovated. Two bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, kitchen, fridge, washing machine, TV. Everything looks fairly new. AC works like a champ. There’s several places to eat and buy groceries around it that are quite cheap. Everyone speaks serviceable English – probably better than Arabic.