I've just returned from getting my second Doha haircut from the Delhi Hair Cutting Saloon. Now I'm the first to admit that at first, second, and (okay) third glance it looks a little shabby from the outside but you shouldn't be deceived by appearances. I have had two superb haircuts from this humble little backstreet barber.
Each cut has cost me 20 Riyal - about $NZ 7. A 40 minute session involves a massage (today's one involved arms, hands, back and shoulders AS WELL as the usual scalp one). Bet you don't do that Pat! Each time there has been no booking required, or waiting involved and I've been offered a cup of tea as well. I've simply walked 5 minutes up Najma Street and waltzed in. The hygiene conditions are probably best referred to as 'basic' but I have no complaints. Ask Jacky.
But don't ask her about her own hair adventures. It's tricky here, I admit. The women get their beauty treatments in strict isolation from men, with signs on the doors saying "no mens allowed"(sic). Mens can't enter or even see inside.
Jacky bravely ventured into one for a cut. Now - unless Pat or Jenna (Headquarters in New Plymouth) are involved, Jacky rarely comes out of a haircut happy (certainly in the UK she struggled to find anyone worthy! ). Suffice to say the Al Riyadh Ladies Beauty Saloon was on a hiding to nothing as far as Mrs Purdy's customer satisfaction went. Jade and I both expected the worst after her frantic phone call upon exiting the Saloon, but actually we both thought it looked a pretty good job. What do we know!
I can understand why petrol and gas prices are cheap as chips in Qatar but why is it that we can buy choice cuts of New Zealand meat at better prices than we can in NZ? Why is it schnapper is far cheaper to buy in Doha? Why is it milk and cheese are far cheaper to buy here than in NZ?
I have no idea. When I moan at home about the prices for these things the answer often given is that we pay export prices, so cheese and milk are expensive. I have no idea why that is so. I have no idea why these items are all cheaper here. It seems wrong. We bought 6 nice pieces of NZ fillet steak last week and they cost 37QR (about NZ$12). The Carrefour supermarket has whole sheep carcasses for 60QR (not a particularly pleasant sight but you get my drift).
Not everything here is quite that cheap though - the margarine is slightly dearer and the imported biscuits from the UK that we love are slightly dearer. Nothing outrageous though. The CDs that I wrote about on http://googoogarjoob.blogspot.com/ were NZ$40 and 20 respectively and I bought a DVD for Jade that cost NZ$30.
The most noticeable thing missing from the supermarket shelves/shops is alcohol of course. Jacky read a newspaper story to me recently of a Bangladeshi man who was imprisoned for two months for being drunk in public; after which he'll be deported.
Just needed to share that!
And finally - in case Jade is getting homesick for life in Doha (that's a joke Jade) - here's a snap of our favourite corner shop - Faz!
Love and peace - Wozza