Problems, we all have them. Living the expat life may seem glorious, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have our problems. One of my personal problems has been where do we begin with our social life, or to put it more correctly, where do we find our social life? Where do we find our local friends?! I have joked with other expats saying that our husbands have it easy. They go off to work within the first week of arriving in the new host country while us “poor” wives are stuck navigating the new city without any friends. Or vice versa, where the wives go off to work and the husbands are left to figure out the basics. In any case, the first lesson that should be taught to any new expat is to find and join a club. Of course I can only write this now confidently because when we initially moved to Oslo I didn’t have a clue.
When you visit Doha, you are bound to see the giant pearl (pictured above) along the Corniche. That simple pearl is not random art but rather a reminder of Qatar’s pre-oil history.
Before discovering oil in 1939, the main source of income for many Qataris came from pearl diving. Pearl diving was quite a dangerous endeavour. Divers would venture out to sea for months in crowded ships, which meant that illnesses quickly spread. Malnutrition was common as they had little access to food. The dive itself would be brief, lasting for about two minutes or however long they could hold their breath. The divers would dive down equipped only with a nose clip, a basket and weights. While under the water, sea predators such as barracudas and sharks would become a new threat. It was not necessarily ideal working conditions to say the least.
Malacis is a Latvian word meaning good job. Malacis is also our beloved little dog, who truly has done a good job moving from one country to another with us. When Malacis joined us back in 2005, we were aware that we would have extra work, but I never expected so much work to get him to be physically with us in each country we have moved to. Qatar has definitely been the most challenging.
Moving abroad with a pet triggers some basic actions to meet import requirements. Malacis had to have all of his vaccines up to date and an identification microchip implanted. Prior to leaving the United States in 2007, we had taken care of this all. While living in Norway, his microchip was scanned various times that it never crossed my mind that we would encounter any problems. Well, of course change in technology caught up with us in Denmark, causing a new headache. (If you have been following along, I have not had the best of luck in Denmark).
Happy New Year! I have taken a bit of a hiatus from blogging because we have been busy moving into our permanent “villa” and my family was visiting. Now I am slowly getting into what may be a new normal routine for me. Asides from my “just” being a housewife routine, this year I hope to be blogging at least once a week, join a yoga studio, start volunteering and to continue exploring my new surroundings.
By far my favorite place in town is the Souq Waqif. The souq is the local traditional market where one can spend plenty of hours getting lost in the labyrinth of alleyways, searching for anything from spices to cashmere scarves to gold. I could write more, but I think my pictures describe the amazing place better. Enjoy!