‘Can you please turn the meter on?’
To my surprise, the taxi driver didn’t put up a fight. There was no roll of the eyes, deep sigh, and reluctant push of the ‘on’ button of the meter. Instead I got an offended look, and an ‘of course!’ As if I should not have expected anything less. In fact, the meter had started the moment the taxi had started moving. This was then followed by a ‘please put on your seatbelt.’
Actual concern for my wellbeing?! It’s like I wasn’t even in Qatar!
Qatar and Abu Dhabi have often been compared to each other with people saying that it was similar in a way. Perhaps they’re similar in that they’re both holding on to their traditions in a changing world, but the similarity ends there I think. So many little differences are there to make each place their own.
I think one of the best parts about Abu Dhabi for me during my super short trip was feeling comfortable walking everywhere. The weather was the same as in Qatar, but the sidewalks were wider, making sure I didn’t feel like I was about to be hit by a car on the road in any second. The buildings were taller and more abundant, giving more shade. More families were on the street, walking to and from their home. It’s that little thing that I enjoyed a lot more than anything. I wish there was more of a walking culture in Qatar, and this may seem funny coming from me if you knew me in real life (Exercise? Me? Outrageous!), but I think it’s something the country really needs.
Maybe one day we’ll see more people on the streets of Qatar instead of in their private cars, except not in the summer, wouldn’t wish that torture on anyone!
So many little differences.. Wish I had the opportunity to learn some more.