Are you ready for it? It's another list. Part One.
My goal of updating once a week has swiftly bitten the dust. Bite the dust? Eat the dust? How does that go again? I find that my American phrases are quickly turning into a mish-mash of international phrases. So, my American phrases are khalas (my new favorite word. It basically means "It's done! It's finished!" or kind of like "get over it!".)
Sometimes I find myself talking with people who speak English as their second or third language and I've found that it makes me speak like I'm just learning my own dang first language. I end up picking up their accents or inflections of syllables. I've also picked up the non-committal Indian head shake/nod mixture. It's basically a movement that insinuates yes...no...and maybe and I don't know all in one gesture. It's pretty much awesome.
Okay so since I've been here I've been keeping a list of the things I like and, lets be honest with one another, don't like about living in the Middle East. Also, I've taken out the obvious I-miss-my-family-and-friends bit because you already know that. I've also tried to take some pictures to go along with said things on the list to help you have a visual. Also notice that this is just PART ONE. I imagine I'll be collecting more likes/dislikes within the next...I dunno...two years. Hah.
Let's start off with the things that I don't like. I waited a few weeks so that this would become funny so I wouldn't turn it into a moan fest. Here you go. Another list:
1.) Being driven-I'm driven everywhere in a bus/taxi/random car/friend's car, etc. I haven't driven in nearly a month. Now, I hate driving but I also like the freedom of being able to come and go without having to depend on someone else.
2.) "Qatar Time"-Qatar time is basically a timeline that doesn't exist. This seems to infect everyone. If someone says they'll be there in 30 minutes, they really mean an hour. If someone says they'll be there on Monday, it's really going to be Thursday.
3.) Lack of trash cans-Proper trash cans are considered to be "unsightly" so that means that they basically don't exist. If they do exist, they can be found in a frustratingly miniature version or they'll be so small and blend in so well with their surrounding environment, you'll be walking around for an hour with trash in your hand because you can't find the dang thing.
4.) Construction-It's everywhere, all the time. It exists at all hours of the night. No time is safe from the sounds of metal against metal and massive holes being dug for seemingly no reason other than because a hole might look nice in this patch of dirt.
5.) No recycling- My obsession with recycling has been put on the back burner for the time being seeing as Qatar doesn't have the capacity to recycle AND because you can't drink the tap water that means I'm throwing away a lot of plastic bottles and that leaves me images of dolphins choking on plastic.
6.) Cereal- Don't grow attached to a favorite cereal because chances are it won't be there next week. I think it might have to do with importing things and the weirdness involved in actually getting things into the country but you will not find ole' Fruits and Fibers every week. SAD.....cause i like Fruits and Fibers.
ALSO: (not necessarily bad/good)
Sink Update 2014
7.) Impractical Pretty Things: I've learned that things are either beautiful OR practical but never both. If it looks nice, it'll probably be so silly that you can't even use it or if it's totally hideous it means that it'll work great!
OKAY, enough. Time for some nice things. Hold on tight.
1.) The hot water: Because we live in the desert and the water tanks are usually stored on the top of the buildings a wondrous thing happens: all the time hot water. Now, you do still have to flip the switch for the hot water heater but for the most part your showers will never run cold and that is amazing.
2.) The Souk Wakif: So far it's my favorite place in Doha. Some people say it's a tourist trap but to be honest, I see a good mixture of both tourists and residents utilizing the souk(q). It has good food, cool stuff, awesome sights, cool things on the weekends, etc. I've never been like...man, the souk is boring today...It's always cool! I always find new things too. Also, they seem to have a good amount of old, eccentric stuff. I can't tell if it's actually antique or they're just pulling my leg.
3.) Hijab Scarf Mania: Because custom calls for some Muslim women to cover their hair with the hijab, that means there are a plethora of scarves EVERYWHERE and I love it. Not only do I love the hijab and think it's very stylish but I also love the fact that I can feed my scarf addiction at a moment's notice.
4.) All the Foods: Qatar has an abundance of ethnic foods and I love it. Do you want Turkish, Palestinian, Indian, Chinese, American, Arabic?? Cause' it's all here! Read: There is an Indian food buffet and I never want to leave it.
5.) Fellow Friends: The people that I've come over here to work with have, in just a few short 3 weeks, transformed from friends to family. We work together, we eat together, we live in the same building, we ride to and from work together. I really couldn't ask for a better group of women and I think we help one another in various areas in which we personally lack. There is something about being an expat that makes you feel like a crazy person. Sometimes you're doing fine and loving life and the next second (quite literally) you're crying and you don't know why you've made this decision. We really help one another keep a level head when we're at our breaking point and for that I'm super thankful.
6.) The Mosques: I love hearing the call to prayer when I'm outside. It's haunting, beautiful and it's a constant reminder as to where I am. You can hear it emanating from all the surrounding mosques and it coalesces into this weird call and answer. Also, we got to visit inside of a particularly huge and stunning mosque last weekend and I was so in love with all the ornate details. I love Islamic art so I was definitely scoping out all the Islamic patterns and small artsy details.
7.) Outlets that turn off: You can switch off your outlets when you're not using them which allows you to have a crazy low power bill. Why don't we do this in America??
8.) SHAKESHACK: The iconic, wonderful, tasty, beautiful, amazing and American as freaking anything Shake Shack is down the street from our apartment. I had a hamburger moment with Shake Shack when I went with my sister to the original in Manhattan and I can't believe there is one here. There aren't many in the States and the fact that there is one here...WEIRD. Whatever, I'll take it....so when I've had my fill of microwavable Indian food and Turkish takeout, I take my self over to the Shake Shack and have the biggest American burger I can find.
9.)Band of Women: And finally I really feel as if there is a companionship amongst the women here. I feel like it doesn't matter your ethnic group or your language. I've come to find out that the majority of the women here all have the same concerns, fears, desires, problems, loves, hates, etc. just like you do. Also, I feel like the culture really allows the women to band together and this is one of the first times in my life where I feel very connected to the female population.
and the last category.....
Things I'm not sure about:
1.) The Bum Gun:
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