Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Doha, Qatar - Day 1

Event date: 6th & 7th June 2008

I was on transit in Doha International Airport first time in November 2004 on a trip to Turkey and again in May 2006 to catch a connecting flight to Italy via Qatar Airline. In 2006, few of my friend from SMART tunnel project (associated to Gamuda Engineering) was transferred to Doha project. It made sense if I were to transit few days to see what is there to see in Doha city with an excuse of visiting a friend. 

Therefore, as the travel agent booked our trip to Greece on Qatar Airline, I had decided to do just by informing the agent in advance of our intention during to transit on return flight from Athens. We chose to stay in a 5-star hotel as in Athens we stayed in 4-star. Doha Ramada seem to be a right choice for our 3 days 2 night stay. On arrival at Doha International friend, I called my colleague that used to call me kakak (mean sister), Choo Keng Loong. Choo was working at that time thus he couldn't pick us up, so, we took an airport taxi to Ramada. Afternoon breeze was very hot on the 6th June 2008. When Choo came to see us for dinner that night, we declined to go out. We had our dinner at the hotel.

The next day, we had a fast food just across the street of Ramada Hotel. Earlier in the morning, I accompanied Nasrul for a swimming. He loves the pool so much as no one was there on a hot summer day and the hotel was not really having a peak tour season.

Later in the evening, Choo came to pick us for a night city tour and a dinner. It was very pleasant to have a cool night drive around the Doha city. The day that we supposed to fly back, another friend, Manimaran came to fetch us up and sent us to Chilli's restaurant in his car, Hummer that really brightened up Nasrul's day. On Choo's advised, we get the hotel to arrange a rental car cum city tour on the next day to catch a flight to Karachi at 12.40am (supposedly at 0040hrs).

Local Qatari ladies, both are wife's to 1 husband

Bazaar operated by local Qatari

At the airport on 8th June 2009, around 9pm at night, I was looking at our ticket again before approaching the counter. There I thought that we might have missed our flight as 12.40am is past midnight and we was supposed to be on early morning of 8th June 2009. 12.40am flight is a flight at 0040 hours on 9th June 2009. It was alarmingly crazy and I was freaking panicked and worried that we couldn't get any flight back to Karachi. My faced turned red and stressed face when I was told the same thing by the counter assistant but he advised that a daily flight to Karachi on the same hour still have seat for all of us. It was lucky, but and error come with the price, right? 

Moral of the story is to be 100% sure by reconfirm and/or revisited any of the scheduled, time and place of appointments in our daily activities. I learnt my big lesson that day.
Post a Comment