Prose

Mid West Meets Middle East, The Staredown: Day 150

Lindsay in Doha, Qatar

A sleep deprived, dehydrated Mid Westerner in the Middle East...too hot for complete thoughts or sentences. A far too classy condo complex cafe and Darjeeling tea sprang out, a foreshadow to something I definitely want and have to see. A tall African doorman reminiscent of the Green Mile miracle worker...in pajamas. Walking from one massive building past the rest on barren sidewalks. 8am and the sun has catapulted into the hazy sky. A manicured park and an empty playground. I lie on the grass and become a spectacle to children and men alike. There are enough Westerners around to make me think I stick out for other reasons. Fully covered from chin to toe, but maybe too clingy for ultimate modesty.

The harbor is gorgeous, and the buildings fall into the ocean; but I feel like the sun is taking my life away from me. Only makes me angrier at the hundreds of men who stare, and photograph, without shame at my passing presence. I have had no water, but I sweat like death is stalking me. Roughly ten other women out - never alone. I'm alone. I wonder what that implies in Doha.

Big water bottles are mere cents, and a cross-eyed old man finally shows me the smiles I miss. I have to wipe my visage dry, and my sleeve comes back sopping. A coffee shop is no mirage as I follow the arch's shadow across seven lanes of traffic to its air-conditioned wonders. Massive screens showing the programs I know and miss, and he cranks the volume to accompany harmoniously the wall's waterfall. I sit with my bag off to receive the mighty wind, and it chills me back to life. I cannot move for hours, and my thumbs recount the story of my heated day to all with e-mails. I can think no more.

To ask and to wander brings about what I needed and wanted to my stomach; whatever they say, so I shall have. And it sprawls the plate, a chicken on her bed, with veggies and spices to bare. I am drained and filled, and my heart beats in my stomach. I braved a new world I knew little truth about, and though all the big bros were watching, never did I feel afraid. Our movies don't show the good people in civies.