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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Vegan ventures

I wasn't really worried about the food situation here in Qatar. I mean, bread, rice, hummus, tomatoes, sorted. But actually, it's been better than I had expected.

We get breakfast along with the room and the kind staff get me almond milk for my muesli. There are mountains of sliced melons as well as apples, oranges and bananas. plus, I take some bread and plaster it with hummus and add some vegetables from the vast breakfast buffet - and that constitutes dinner.

At the International Broadcast Centre, there is another buffet and we get it at a very discounted rate. That tray represents the vegan food on offer. It's rather like that every day. Some sort of curry, chilli or stew; soup and salad. The only issue is dessert. they provide a myriad of delicious looking cakes. None are vegan. More melon. Though twice I have succumbed to the date pudding (OMG).

On the second occasion that temptation struck, I asked for a little and the lady serving said, 'I am African: I do not understand the concept of a "little" helping of food!' Turns out she is from Johannesburg so we said we'd been there for the 2010 World Cup.

But this also led me to consider the staff in the restaurant. One guy said he was Turkish, another from Zimbabwe... and I wondered if they have all come here just to provide catering services at the World Cup. Where are they staying? What's the pay like? Do they get days off?

The security staff are also multi-national. Some Africans, some Arab, lovely Isha* from Nepal.

Even the residents of Qatar are, what, 80% non-Qatari!

It is the strangest experience: we are not the only multi-national circus in the host country. The host country is itself a multi-national circus with many concentric rings.

But, whatever: they're feeding me. That's a huge plus.

*Isha, when I asked her, said she'd been in Qatar for five years and loves it here as it's safe for women. She also likes the greeting 'Namaste', which cheers me up, for some strange reason.

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