One thing is sure about living in Doha; there is no reason for anyone to be bored. Granted, you may have to work a little to find out what is happening on any given night, but trust me there is ALWAYS something going on.
Tonight was a great example. Doha National Theatre was showing the complete works of William Shakespeare (in 97 minutes). Senter Stage Musicals was staging Oklahoma. This afternoon we'd spent at the American School of Doha Friendship Festival, a huge annual fair complete with bake sales, dunking tanks, bean bag tosses, bouncy castles and raffles. This weekend is also offering up the 10th Doha Jewelry and Watches Exposition.
The winter months in Doha are filled with things to do. From tennis opens featuring top-seated international players (read Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, etc.), to power boat races, to productions such as Romeo and Juliet by renowned companies such as Shakespeare's Globe Theater out of London, to the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, there is no reason to lament the lack of entertainment.
F1 MotoGP, Annual Dunestock, Placido Domingo, Spain vs. Uruguay, The Tour of Qatar, Kevin Spacey in Shakespeare's Richard III, and the list goes on. All literally on our doorstep. Scouts campouts where volunteers from the local U.S. Military Base come to volunteer, children's triathlons, 10 km races and a host of other social and sports activities.
Last summer, we crossed the street and walked 1 km to attend Cirque du Soleil - Saltimbanco (2nd row seats!). Marine exhibitions at the Souq, unparalleled fireworks displays at every possible occasion (most recently for National Sports Day), and any other number of other activities to be enjoyed by young and old alike.
Last fall, we went to see the The Russian Ballet at the Qatar National Exhibition Center (the building is something to behold in and of itself). Once again, we managed to be seated three rows from the stage. There was a mixup with our tickets though, and it appeared another couple had been assigned two of our four seats. Smilin' Vic, ever the fixer, called over a bearded "usher" who was standing near the stage. He politely but firmly told the "usher" that this was, at the very least, unacceptable, and to get the situation sorted out pronto.
The "usher" offered us seats in the first two rows, seats reserved for diplomats. Smilin' Vic would have nothing of it. He told the "usher" to sort it out somehow, but we wanted the seats that we'd selected. The "usher" sorted out his request, then let us know in a not-so-subtle tone that we must forgive his hesitation as this is not normally a part of his duties as the Chargé d'Affaires of the Russian Embassy!!!! Only in Doha!
The only disincentive to attending these events is the congestion and traffic on the way there and back. As I've said before, I'm not the best when it comes to braving night-time traffic in Doha, and I often end up quite frazzled on the way to and back from these happenings. But the events themselves always end up making up for the negative driving experience.
While day-to-day life may sometimes seem somewhat humdrum, and the sand and the beige may become hypnotizing in their constance, while the lack of truly defined seasons may begin to wear thin, and where the lack of mountains, valleys, rivers and forests may stir wistful angst in my heart on occasion, there is truly no reason whatsoever for me to ever be bored in the ME.