Doha’s Villagio Mall and a friend’s departure
The Villago Mall is Doha’s hub for overpriced luxury clothes. The mall was supposedly build by a Las Vegas architect, and it sports a sky-painted ceiling with a river of chlorinated water separating the businesses lining both sides of the main hallway.
If you think you might enjoy the ride, are too lazy to walk, or bored with everything the mall has to offer, you can opt for a gondola ride from one end of the mall to the other. Many of the stores are similar to those in the US: there are telephone accessory booths, various shoe stores (Footlocker), Ed Hardy, Lacoste, Lucky Jean Co., etc. In addition, there is a luxury wing with Louis Vatton, Ralph Lauren, Christian Hererra, Coach, Dior, and other you-break-it-you-cant-afford-to-buy-it stores. The food court is surrounding a large ice skating rink — and I’m not talking about those polymer plastic synthetic rinks they build in the South Florida malls around Christmas time. I’m talking about a genuine Zamboni-maintained frozen water skating rink. For a little bit, I daydreamed about scraping ice as a Right Wing, while my buddy Kershner is picking another fight with the opposing team from the golly box behind me. Then it dawned on me: I was currently deployed to a middle eastern country where the men dressed like Aladdin, women wore black burkas that covered their faces like ninjas, and the outside temperature is somewhere around 120 degrees Fahrenheit — a humbling reality check.
We went to the mall to eat a final dinner with a friend and fellow non-commissioned officer. A truly genuine person, he served as our units equal opportunity adviser: ensuring equality regardless of race, religion, or gender. He was leaving theater because of a non-combat related injury. Although it was under good conditions, we still regret seeing him go.
We wish him luck and safe travel!