Thursday, February 24, 2011


Its official-Good bye Doha!  I have spent the last week packing up my apartment while my husband has spent the entire week getting our Houston home in prepartion for my return (this is the end to the "man cave").  I have successfully packed all of my stuff in wait...6 bags. 

I am now sitting in the Qatar Airways Premium terminal where there is a chef preparing scrambled eggs and waffles. I am in Heaven!! Will I miss Doha?  Sure, I will miss Souq Waqif, the poshness of the Pearl, the GREAT Lebanese food, high tea at the Ritz, the expat lifestyle, running along the gulf every morning, and the fresh fruit juices.  There are a few things I glady bid-adeu; the 1.5 hour bus rides one way to work, playing the game of chicken while walking on the Pearl, having Friday and Saturdays as weekends, Carrefour (and the random dead carcus), and not being able to drive myself.

This has been a wonderful experience and I have met amazing people that I hope to remain in contact in the future. Good bye Doha...........Hello Houston!

On more thing before I go....Sybil this is for you....I tipped my waiter in the Qatar Airways Lounge 10QR.  You have taught me well. See you Stateside.....

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

How do you celebrate Valentines day in the Middle East?  Well, I think it depends where you are. I saw an article on how Malaysia was thinking about banning the holiday in the country because the typical celebrations of flowers, chocolates, and going out to dinner can lead to pre-marital "relations".  Really?! I think for Qatar, the restaurants have taken down the Valentines day decorations and there is no special menu.  Wait-no cheesy hearts on the windows and I do not have pay a higher price for the same food because its Valentines day?  Yep, definitely not romantic anymore.  Good thing Rics Kountry Kitchen helped me ring in the holiday early by serving my "Death by Omelet" with a heart shaped sausage.....

Friday, February 4, 2011

Toto...We are (still) not in US.

The more time I spend here, the more I realize I am not in the US anymore (the good, the bad, and the ugly)....
  • Humus is a regular condiment
  • Chocolate Chips are a commodity
  • You can go days without seeing anyone who has blonde hair
  • Sharing a sidewalk is unheard of. Instead you just keep on walking like the other person does not exist.
  • Woman wear expensive designer sparkly pumps at 10am
  • Children in strollers are crying because thier I-phones are not working
  • For every child thier is a nanny wearing a toss between a house coat and a bowling uniform
  • You are lucky if anyone speaks English (and by Engish I mean "American"). Amazing how many conversations I have had where all parties are speaking English but no one knows what that other is saying.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

During last weeks excursion to Abu Dhabi, Katie, Candy and I visited the grand mosque.  It was spectacular. The beautiful white domes are the capstone to the marvelous architecture below.

We were given a tour by an Emirati who told us all about the 80+ columns that exist in the mosque, the longest single carpet in the world which lines the main prayer room, why there are lines in the carpet (so the worshipers know where to stand and towards the direction of Mecca), the 3 sparkling chandeliers, and when women start to wear their abayas ("when they reach the age of maturity").

The best part of the adventure was wearing the abaya...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rain, Rain, Rain

When I moved to Qatar, they told me it only rains 2x year, once in March which brings the heat and once in September which eliminates the heat.  Well if that holds true and Qatar is only warranted 2 rains per year, we have used-up our yearly allotment before the end of January.  While Katie and Candy were here last week, it rained for nearly 3 straight days. Since the rain never seemed to stop, I will count this as one loooooooooooong rain.  Then while riding the loser cruiser (aka the bus we are required to ride all the way to Ras Laffan Industrial City each day), it was pouring down rain. 

So the bad news is....Qatar could be in for a long dry 2011 from here on out.  The good news is .....Katie and Candy, you are no longer being blamed for bringing the rain.  Wonder where I can get a designer umbrella on the Pearl...Hermes, Galliano, Feragamo, or Vera??

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The "Lo-bee", "cot" and "pillow"

Just spent the weekend in Abu Dhabi with my good friend and MIL (mother-in-law). As anyone knows who has traveled internationally, part of the fun is the language barrier. Even though we are in the Middle East, English is widely spoke.  So you would think we would have no problems communicating.....

"Lo-Bee"-Aka "lobby"

"Pillow"-Katie-"Yes, hello, can I get an extra pillow to room 306". 
             Man on the other end-"Pillow????"
             Katie-"Yes, a pillow"
             Man on the other end-"Pillow??"
             Katie-"Yes, a head cloud"

"Cot"-Katie "Can we get a roll-away or a cot to room 306?"
           Lady at the desk-"Sure, no problem".
           5 min later in the room-Much to our amazement.....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saudi Arabian Riyals

Want a creative way to skirt the bill when you are splitting with friends? You offer to pay and then get out the wrong currency. That is exactly what my mother in law (MIL) did when she offered to split the check at lunch yesterday. (She visiting from the US with a good friend of mine).  She whips out her wallet which contains Saudi Arabian Riyals.  Thanks for nothing! We are in Qatar, not Saudi.  What am I suppose to do with that?  Keep your money...I will get the bill.

(So the story behind the wrong currency-In preparation for the trip, my MIL tried to exchange US dollars at a bank in Indiana. What they gave her was Saudi Arabian Riyals, not QR)

Yesterday was, we can not stop laughing about it.