Hakuna Matata

Hakuna Matata

Fan Cabin Village, Qatar

Meeting people every day in Qatar has been hard work. It is easy to set a time and place, but when you try and get to your destination it is not always as straightforward as you think. Lots of roads are closed and there are queuing systems in place to get into the metro. This all means I am headed for a record breaking step count week with 157,820 this week, so far.

My accommodation at the Fan Village is fine. Yes it is just a cabin, that looks like it has been finished in a hurry, and the water leaks from the sink. But it is cool enough and serves its purpose. 

Today, after Netherlands v Ecuador I decided to head into Souq Waqif for a spot of sightseeing. It is the first time since I have arrived that I have found any time. My complaint so far would have been that everything is new and there is no real character to Qatar.

Fan Cabin Village, Qatar

Souq Waqif changed all that. Anyone that has been to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul or the souks of Marrakesh, will understand. Apparently they restored it in a traditional style in 2004 after a fire.

A traditional meeting place for hundreds of years where travellers exchanged goods, with a myriad of alleyways, meaning you quickly get lost as you gaze at the products on display. You are drawn to the scent of the spices, then come across falcons and camels. The locals were out in full force and a group of Tunisians were warming up for their match the next day.

As you make your way around on match day your are guided by an army of volunteers, who have been enjoying the party atmosphere. They are seen pointing people in the right direction. They will sing and dance with the music going on around them, but always give you the refrain "this way", to which the crowd often responds "which way" and they reply again "this way".

Fan Cabin Village, Qatar

Arriving at Souq Waqif I am regularly guided to the metro by a volunteer sat on his umpires chair. From day one he had been saying Metro, met ro, metro, met ro. The crowds join in, with all the different nationalities it is amazing how different metro can sound. Now people are regularly filming him, and the whole area has people saying metro funny voices.

As we entered the metro station another volunteer was doing his version, but he was adding "Hakuna Matata". I am afraid I had to ask what it meant, you may know if you have watched Lion King, "there are no problems". The volunteers despite only carrying out a simple task have always had a smile and made things feel that way.

Souq Waqif, Qatar
Souq Waqif, Qatar

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Soug Waqif, Qatar

© Ross Clegg & Soccerphile.com

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