On Walking

I wrote a little bit about it in June 2007, in “Walking Around” and “A trip on the LRT” while I was on a month-long training course in Cairo, and I haven’t written much more about walking…

I have always loved walking.

I lived in Paris for about two years (1989-1991), and I didn’t get a car. I loved using the metro, my metro station was Glacière (photo taken by me on a much more recent visit to paris).

When your primary means of transportation is the métro, you have to walk, a lot. I got used to walking that I would sometimes just walk to my destination even if it took an hour or more, the city makes walking enjoyable: through streets full of shops, gardens, parks,fountains, old buildings, statues,  and so much to see… Walking there is full of culture, romance, and green spaces.

In late 2010, with the much better weather, I tried walking in Doha and it was a disaster.

Doha’s streets are completely walker unfriendly:

  • The sidewalk is sometimes non-existent, too narrow, or has cars parked on it.
  • The pavement is full of holes, and cars driving by usually ignore any pedestrians.

There’s almost no where to walk here.I wrote about this in one of my tweets, and I was told to go somewhere to walk. I immediately replied “I walk to go somewhere, I don’t go somewhere to walk”. Going somewhere for the main purpose of walking seems illogical to me, but after I tried walking in the streets here to “get somewhere”, I may reconsider it. Aspire park may be a good place to “go walk”…

Photo above by Mohammed Alfailakawi and is licenced as Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


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2 Responses

  1. Abdulrahman says:

    Hala eng. Osama.
    Nice post 🙂
    I had a similar parisian experience when I was on the job training in Paris for almost an year in 2004.
    I stayed  in rue didot  for 4 month and had to take  the metro daily from  Alesia And exchange at Denfert-Rochereau to take the RER B to and back  from work. The commute time was almost an hour with no less than 4 km of walk. 
    At first it wasn’t pleasant , but then gradually I started liking the experience, despite the  gloomy raining autumn days, as it gave me time to read. I never read that much books like that year I lived in Paris.
    Then I moved chatlate where I used to catch  the RER B directly from les halles with just 25 min commute time, still I had to walk for almost 3 km daily.
    I apologize for the long post,  Thank you  for bringing on the memories  

  2. MIMH says:

    I too miss walking in Doha. I could spend many hours walking the streest of Rome, London, Budapest or Barcelona and just by chance find something interesting. I always feel I don’t get enough exercise in Doha. Hopefully it will change for the better in future.

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