I find it interesting that world maps are hard to come by in stores here in Qatar.

After combing the shelves of Carrefour (all three branches), Villagio, and that little bookstore on the 3rd floor of City Center, I decide to go to Jarir Bookstore along Salwa Road.

I ask the guy for a world map. “Follow me,” he says with an air of authority. He leads me to the Travel section and hands me a map of Qatar.

I hand it back. “Errr… actually, I need a world map.”

He opens the map and shows me Doha, filled with little yellow and red boxes indicating Doha landmarks.

“WORLD map,” I tell him again. “With all the different countries?”

He flips the map over and shows me Qatar, and points to Doha, Al Khor, Ras Laffan, and Dukhan, then tries shoving the map into my hands.

“Asia,” I say. “Europe. South America. The Middle East?”

“This is map,” he tells me.

“This is a map of Qatar,” I inform him. “I’m looking for the WORLD map. Qatar is not the world.”

He doesn’t respond. He looks a touch irritated. I can see he wants to move on to another customer.

With a sigh I take it from his hands, wait until he disappears behind a bookshelf, and put the map back on the shelf. After a few minutes I find a world map hiding behind some photography books.

Jeeeeesus, I am so thankful Qatar is NOT the whole world.

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