Friday was 'Watersports', organised by Travis, lots of fun and some deep shame for one drunken sailor. It was hard to get up for the 8:30 taxis after a short Thursday night of boozing at a party in the South Tower. About 25 of us convoyed down to the Corniche and got on a dow.This is an old style of local boat that used to be used for pearling. Some of them may still be used for fishing, but I think they're all kept in the harbour for show more than anything else.
It was your average stinking hot Doha morning and we were all nursing hangovers and sweating like crazy, waiting to get out of the dock. The indian crew finally managed to jump-start the engine with a couple of loose wires hoisted over from the boat next door. Everyone on board was from work, but most people didn't know everyone, so it was a good opportunity to talk to the faces you see around the office but never meet. While Australians outnumbered, as usual, there was a good representation of Lebanese and Greeks and the obligatory South Africans and Canadians.
Eskys were pried open and the beer flowed as the music cranked up. It took about an hour to chug out the harbour, past the former Palm Island (now a patch of sand) and all the skyscrapers of the city lined up along the foreshore. A brisk breeze picked up and the temperature dropped to a normal sunny summer's day arrangement, just in time for us to pull up near the Pearl development.
Immediately we were all jumping from the upper deck of the boat into the warm, very salty water. The jet-skis and speedboat arrived and it was all on. Jet skis are ludicrously fun, like the difference between skateboarding and snowboarding - you can thrash like crazy without any real fear of hurting yourself when you fall off.
Almost from the time we pulled up my colleague Stephen was well under the weather. Steve is my fellow CAD man, and a part of whose last name, Van Gruene, has lent itself to our department. Stephen is known by everyone from bosses to caterers as Van Cad and it's spread so that we're usually referred to as the Van Cad Family. Thursday he earnt himself a new derivation - Van Crack. While the rest of were slowly working up to getting boozed, he was sideways hours before it seemed possible. The rest of the day was spent laughing at and being embarrassed by, his antics - there will be pics of him baring hairy ass cheek, demanding ass cheek from others, and generally stumbling, slurring and grinning like a sunburnt goose.
The Greek and Lebanese kids got their dancing on in the afternoon and impressed everyone with top shelf Arabic belly dancing and the like. A fine barbecue feast was lined the stomachs and kept most off the jet skis for a while and on the top deck taking in some sun.
By three was weighed anchor and putt-ed home. A surprise bottle of Cinzano bianco appeared, with ice and lemon to cap off a beautiful day on the water.
I was straight in the pool when I got back to the apartments, as were lots of others, and some more cold beer arrived and stereo was stuck out the window of the gym for beats. As 5 or 6 of us lazed on lilos Van Crack appeared for an encore. For whatever reason, as he entered the pool area he decided to throw his bag and towel to the ground - and his phone and sunglasses down on the other side, onto hard tiles. The next hour or so we continued to be entertained by his cross-eyed rantings.
With the sunburn appearing on my arms and legs, I soon hit the wall and retired to our apartment to get some rest. Van Cad appeared soon after, having been thrown out of what he thought was a party, but was actually a team-building meal for one of the departments. He'd walked straight in, been confronted with 'what are you doing here??' and had been physically ejected out the door. This was funny enough, but even better when I reminded him of it at work today. His eye glazed over as he tried to recalled what happened... 'Was i wearing pants?' he wondered. Hahahah. Turns out he had stumbled in there wearing just boxer shorts. There were heads of departments and all sorts of big wigs. Lol!
Tonight I'm still sore and tired. Generally that's what the second day of a weekend is for - recovery. But no, we were all back in to work after that one, exhausting day off. Time for some early kip. Night.