So the hashtag #GrowingUpInQatar was trending a few days back and it really brought back a lot of memories of my time there. I got really nostalgic. I am and forever will be a #DohaKid and in this blog post, I’ll be talking about my favorite things about #GrowinUpInQatar.
Shawarma was our go-to meal. There are shawarma joints everywhere so it wasn’t hard to get our hands on one whenever we were hungry. One shawarma costs about 6 or 7 QR. Having to eat shawarma here in the Philippines is torture to be honest, especially because I know what real shawarma is supposed to be like. Let me school you on this one.
A real shawarma should have grilled meat of your choice, veggies (lettuce and pickles ONLY, no carrots or bell peppers or tomatoes or whatever else) optional, chunky fat fries, and garlic sauce wrapped in warmed soft pita (should not be thin or toasted). Its disgusting what shawarma joints here in the Philippines put in their shawarmas.
Favorite shawarma joints are Marmara and Ankara. Ankara is conveniently located in front of my mom’s office so she buys us shawarmas all the time.
Karak from Tea Time
Ahh yes, karak. It’s an arabic milk tea blend that tastes heavenly. Can’t start a morning without it and the best place to get your karak fix is from Tea Time. Whenever my friends and I would go on our traditional road trip to the beach we would always grab some karak before we set off. I still remember how it smells like.
City Center or Villagio?
In high school there were only two choices for places to go and hang out to after classes end: City Center or Villagio. Qatar is a very small place and back then these were the only really good malls.
City Center was one of the first malls to pop up in Qatar and for a while, was the only choice before Villagio was built. City Center was once the largest mall in Doha. It had cinemas, an ice skating rink, Carrefour (grocery store that had everything), shops and restaurants.
Villagio is one of the newer, fancier malls. As you can see, it has a gondola river where guests can actually ride a gondola around the mall. Home of designer shops, this was the more favored mall to hang out in despite its smaller size.
I have got to admit that I’ve probably memorized every corner of these two malls back in my time since they’re the only places we can go to to hangout.
Skateboarding was a really big thing when I was in high school. All the cool kids would hang out at skate spots (a few parks, parking lots and a spot right in front of Villagio mall). My boyfriend in high school was a skater and would take me to all the known skate spots. The photos above are of Al Hammam Park, one of the more popular spots because it had concrete perfect for skating and a small skate pool.
Al Rabie Juice
Al Rabie was definitely one of my everyday essentials. I didn’t go a day without drinking at least one of them. It costs only 1QR and was available at our cafeteria. People would ask one another of a riyal just so they could buy one.
There are so many more things about #GrowingUpInQatar but these top my list. I miss everything about Doha everyday. One day I hope to go back and have them all again.