Does a country count if it's just an airport stop?

Trip Start Aug 25, 2008
1
14
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Trip End Oct 17, 2008


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Flag of Qatar  ,
Friday, September 5, 2008

I am at the airport in Doha, Qatar.  So can I add Qatar to my list of places visited even though I am just here at the airport? When I get to India I will write all about my last day in Bahrain and the whole Middle East experience.  This is just a short one to let everyone know I am safely enroute to Delhi and am on a stopover here in Qatar.  This entry is mainly for my airline friends and sorry that it's kinda boring.  I promise my next one will be halfway interesting.  I've got so much to tell you about my overall Middle East experience.

I am flying Qatar Airways and it is AMAZING.  The Airbus A320 was immaculate and the seats were actually contoured to make sitting comfortable.  The footrest was a nice touch, too.  Here is a rough outline of the short flight from Bahrain to Qatar:

18:55  took off
18:57  dinner served
19:02  dinner picked up
19:05  descent into Qatar
19:16   landed

Full service on a short flight with 144 people on it.  The flight attendants hustled and I told one how awesome the flight was.  She said it's stressful (no, really?) but it's worth it to make Qatar Airways a five star airline.  Whatever they are doing is working.

The flight was 98% Indian and Bangladeshi migrant workers returning home.  The other 2% were me, a British military guy heading to Malaysia for fun and two Arab guys dressed in white gowns with wraps on their heads.  The stench on the plane was unbelievable.  Picture the lav on the ATR after two roundtrips to Panama City on a hot day after it had already been fermenting overnight.  Now you have a feel for my 20 minutes in the air. 

No one listened to the instructions to buckle up, turn off cellphones, etc.  It was just chaos. People pushed and shoved to get on and off the plane and it was like I was just pushed down the aisle to board and pulled up it to deplane.  This is my first taste of India.  It's going to be awesome. 

When the gear came down, it was like the green light for everyone on board to turn on their phones.  All you heard was over a hundred of them activating and message beeps sounding.  I felt for those flight attendants...98% of the plane was out of control and they had to serve 144 of us dinner in 5 minutes.

I will see you in Delhi.  I get in at 3:30 in the morning.
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