Long ago upon a hilltop (let me finish then I will stop)
I espied a curious traveller where no traveller was before.
As I raised an arm in greeting all at once he took to beating
at the air like one entreating passing boats to come ashore
like a castaway repeating empty movements from the shore
or an over-eager whore.
Never one to wonder blindly I demanded not unkindly
"Are you waving, or behaving in a manner heretofore
generally unexpected, or perhaps you have neglected
to observe the mien affected by humanity before?"
(For he seemed to have elected to gesticulate some more.)
Quoth the traveller "Semaphore"
Today, at 1145, I fly out of Doha. At 1230, I land in Bahrain (pronounced as the answer to the question: Handel, what is the falling wet stuff called?) Then, at 1330 I leave Bahrain only to arrive back in Doha at 1415. In Bahrain, I will not leave the aircraft. This performance, ostensibly to generate a new entry visa in Qatar, is really all about generating a little extra revenue for Qatar Airways. 750 Qatari Riyals, to be precise. But why do they not open a little air-side office where you could be stamped out, stamped back in and turned around in ten minutes, saving much unnecessary air travel and wasted time. They could charge 500 for it and everyone wins. There's a small franchise for somebody with a rubber stamp.