Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Chocolate, Clams and Koi

Hi again. While Keith and Kristin were busy interviewing people at their conference, I decided to stretch my legs and explore the hotel today.

I was curious about the floor labeled “R” in the elevator so I decided to go there first. I soon learned that “R” stands for restaurant. There are at least 5 different restaurants on that floor. I could choose from Asian, German, and Lebanese food or I could visit “The Marketplace.” This is a restaurant where people visit various booths to pick food that comes from all over the world.

My favorite was the dessert booth. It has a chocolate fountain! I didn’t know chocolate could flow from a fountain like water. It is really cool. Next to the chocolate fountain, you can choose a number of different sweets, put them on long toothpicks, and then place it under the fountain so it is covered in chocolate. I picked marshmallows on a stick. Yum! (Shh….don’t tell anyone I actually ate dessert first.)

I then made my way to the Asian restaurant. It is called “Bamboo Lagoon.” It has a stream running through it with REAL fish in it! The fish are many colors and look like super large goldfish. Kristin told me the fish are called Koi. Look closely and you will see one near me in this photo.

Did I mention there are clams or clamshells everywhere in Doha and Dubai? Many of them look like the shells I see in downtown Muscatine at the museum. Here at the hotel every restaurant has baskets full of these shells.

I asked Kristin about these shells. She told me that may years ago men used to harvest clams from the Persian Gulf (the large body of water bordering Qatar and UAE). They were looking for pearls inside of the clams. Kristin says the pearls were made into necklaces. Kristin says the “pearl industry” as she called it is no longer the main business here. Her story reminds me of the pearl button business in Muscatine that I hear about in history class.

Santa was at the entrance to the Bamboo Lagoon. Since I didn’t get a chance to talk to him before I left on this trip I decided to visit him here.

I told Santa I have been VERY good on this trip so I hope he will visit me later this week in Iowa. :)

That’s all for now. Until next time!