After a luxurious time in Russia, I’m running low on funds in the Middle East. My time in Oman was relatively cheap but the exchange rate from NZD to OMR meant that I wasn’t getting much for my money and as a result… I’m penny pinching here in Doha.
Once again I’ve opted for Airbnb over a hotel, partly because of the price compared to a hotel but also because staying in someones home means that I have access to a kitchen and laundry.
After I settled into my accommodation I went to a supermarket and bought just enough food for my stay here, with the assumption that I will eat 1 meal out. Eating out all the time while travelling can be fun and gives you the opportunity to try new flavours and cuisine options. Even better, you get to try authentic dishes that don’t exist back home. However, it’s expensive and hard to control calories. With that in mind I bought groceries and have been taking pleasure in being able to cook. Another benefit of staying in this home is that there is a maid to wash my dishes. Win!
Today I worked out in the gym and went swimming in the apartment complex, which cost nothing and helped me shake off the sluggishness I’ve been feeling from adjusting to middle Eastern time. I read the paper at a local cafe over coffee and resisted all the delicious cakes at the counter. Lucky for me the coffee was served with a little pastry treat so it felt like a genuine treat without the price tag of coffee and cake.
I took a taxi to the Museum of Islamic Arts but stupidly got in a cab with no meter and ended up being charged twice the price of a metered taxi 😞 but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t too bad. The museum is free and I filled my mind with the richness of knowledge and saw artifacts that date back to the 8th century. I didn’t buy a simcard when I got to Qatar so I took full advantage of the free Wi-Fi while I was there too.
I went walking around near the museum and got snap happy taking in the sights and architecture. I also managed to catch the sunset overlooking the ocean which was beautiful.
My total spend today has been 79 riyals which is the equivalent of $30 NZD… all that bought me was a return taxi fare (about 30 min each way) and a cup of coffee.
Tomorrow I will check-out Katara village. Another free spot where I can check-out the historical architure of Qatar. Then it’s off to Dubai for a couple of days.