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PhilDernerJr
08-03-2007, 03:56 AM
Hey, I'm gonna run to Qatar real quick. Does anyone need a handful of sand?

I'm 767-ing to Vermont, Germany, Qatar and back. The worst part? When people in New York complain about how hot it is HERE. In Qatar you squint through your sunglasses because it's so bright. It's actually kinda cool, not in a temperature way. You get the idea.

I'll be back Sunday.

Nonstop2AUH
08-03-2007, 06:30 AM
Handful of natural gas is more like it, that's what makes Qatar so important. Have a great trip and remember, it's a 'dry heat' (old Gulf expat mantra to get through the summer)...

mirrodie
08-03-2007, 08:27 AM
Take pics and be safe

JZ1
08-03-2007, 08:40 AM
Phil, 767 all the way to Qatar? Stopping over at Vermont and Germany? It's not a regular airline service, is it? Charter? Military? Can you let us know a bit more? Sorry for being nosy, but I am sure you can appreciate my extra aviation curiosity.

Have a safe trip.

Nonstop2AUH
08-03-2007, 08:50 AM
JZ1 - was waiting to see if someone would ask Phil about this. FYI Qatar is where the US bases that used to be in Saudi Arabia have been relocated to, and if you wanted to go there on business or as a tourist, you wouldn't be going via Leipzig (or Vermont!)...Especially since Qatar Airways now has its award winning service nonstop from IAD or one-stop from EWR...

rgaddis
08-04-2007, 02:39 AM
You've been to Qatar more times than I have now I'm pretty sure...oddly enough, I'm in New York.

Mellyrose
08-04-2007, 10:53 AM
Right now Phil is STUCK in Qatar. Lucky him :(

mirrodie
08-04-2007, 11:20 AM
why stuck there?

MarkLawrence
08-04-2007, 11:28 AM
Aircraft gone U/S?

mirrodie
08-04-2007, 11:32 AM
Maybe Phil saw a little bit of ankle out there in the desert and he's developing a liking for middle Eastern gals?
:shock:

flyboy 28
08-05-2007, 01:37 PM
Maybe Phil saw a little bit of ankle out there in the desert and he's developing a liking for middle Eastern gals?
:shock:

:lol: :lol:

stuart schechter
08-05-2007, 02:12 PM
Sorry for anyone that is offended by this but,

It's not always the face that matters!


500th post!

NYCMedic
08-05-2007, 08:12 PM
I am sooooooo looking forward to Phil's trip report on this one! Then I will detail at what points he whined the worst!!!

PhilDernerJr
08-06-2007, 12:47 PM
I've returned from my trip.

I went to Qatar for work. I'm not in the CIA or anything like that, but I'll explain my airline-related job another day.

Either way, we took a bit of a delay coming home and I stayed in a tent on a base, which was an excellent experience. I don't know how much I am allowed to share about my trip, but maybe I'll post something later.

Nonstop2AUH
08-06-2007, 03:08 PM
Welcome back Phil. Qatar has some beautiful luxury hotels and is making a push for more tourism, so sorry you got stuck in a tent, but I guess it was a unique experience. Anyone can stay at the Four Seasons but you need to be invited to stay at Al Udeid!

cancidas
08-10-2007, 09:28 PM
ah, tent live. never really got used to that, though the conditions were significantly better that the WO housing at base.

PhilDernerJr
08-13-2007, 01:58 PM
Well, my trip to Qatar was much different than my other usual work flights.

I've been through Qatar about half a dozen times. But I'm usually there for 3 hours to offload, onload and get out.

This time, however, we took a delay that required we stick around for a little over a day. This meant we have to in-process and get rest...on the base, in a tent. I was pretty bummed about taking a delay, but once it was time to leave the plane and get onto the base, I was the only member of the crew that was excited.

Myself and my crew spent several hours processing in through Qatari customs and working our way to the lodging area. I actually went in separate from my crew, so I was all alone during this. Getting assigned to a tent, picking up your linens, learning where things were, very fun.

The tents are big canvas structures that look like an oil drum was cut vertically down the middle then laid on its side. Mine had 18 bunk beds for 36 people. My crew had one all to ourselves, and there were only 8 of us. I was the only one who took a top bunk.

The tent was also air conditioned VERY well. It was 120+ degrees outside, and it was mid-60s inside.

The bathrooms and showers were in trailers a little over 100 feet away. There were sidewalks that connected, but they weren't always convenient, so you walked int he sand/rocks much of the time. The bathrooms and showers were VERY clean and nice.

The food was even better. Before I went to eat, I asked an airman if the food was good. He said no. He's wrong. It confused me because there was every single kind of breakfast food you could ask for. Better selection than any diner. It was also free and unlimited. Pile on the eggs, choose from dozens of kinds of cereals, juices, milks, pastries, snacks, everything.

I was very friendly and social with all the people. It was forced anyway, for two reasons. First, I was the only one on the base with facial hair...much less the shaggy beard that I'd grown the previous days. Second, I had a ****-eating grin the whole time. I was asked if I was ok on several occasions.

As for the heat, yes, it was hot. It was in the 90s at night, and it felt ok, but about 30 minutes after the sun came up....you were right back to cookin yourself.

The heat wasn't so bad as the BRIGHTNESS was. the ground was so light and the sun so harsh that the light was bounce right up into your eyes. I'd never experienced anything like that before. If you didn't have sunglasses, you were in pain. In fact, the only way you could get by was to walk with one eye completely closed and the other one squinting. This way, once you got inside, the eye that was closed can be opened, and it doesn't have to adjust to entering an obviously much darker indoors area. Otherwise, your entire eye has one big sun spot that prevents you from seeing ANYTHING for several minutes when coming in from outside. Imagine the work your rods and cones are putting in when going from a dark tent after waking up to practically looking dead-on into a spotlight.

I didn't bring my sunglasses, and I only got by using the one eye closed method, while also keeping the other eye closed for 5 seconds at a time....planning where I'd walk and hoping I don't trip while both eyes were shut. Some parts of the base had roads, which were paved black. Where I could, I'd walk in the middle of the blacktop and look down at it.....as the light didn't bounce up from it.

They gave me hats, t-shirts and all kinds of stuff that I'll certainly cherish forever. When I think about our crew being upset that they were staying in a tent, it made me sad. So many people say "Support the troops," but wouldn't be willing to live a day in their shoes....even though their accommodations here are pretty good.

It was a great experience, and I met many great people there.

Tom_Turner
08-16-2007, 07:12 PM
Phil -

Best trip report I've read in a long time...

Tom

mirrodie
08-16-2007, 08:43 PM
Phil, you need some polaroid sunglasses ;) What your eyes were experienceing were bleached retinas. Your photoceptors were overcome by so much entering light that it just seemed like you were walking out of a movie theater on a sunny day but with the effect lasting forever! Those rods and cones need time to rejuvenate.

I loved your trip report. Those are memories you will never forget.

PhilDernerJr
08-16-2007, 08:46 PM
Thank you, Tom. Glad you enjoyed it that much. :)

NYCMedic
08-16-2007, 09:08 PM
Jeez.... Nobody brought me breakfast while I was Stateside taking care of this said "delay"