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!
I love Qatar! Can you tell? Some people have asked and I have a couple reasons. The first obvious reason is that the weather is fantastic to me. I grew up in Los Angeles and then for some crazy reason I kept moving north. What we do for LOVE! First to Cleveland for 4 years and then to Oslo, Norway for 6 years. My husband may have doubted me, but I proved to him that I could drive in snow and walk or skate down any icy sidewalk. After our son was born, we finally started the journey south, all the way south to Copenhagen, Denmark. That clearly wasn’t south enough for me. We didn’t even last a full 2 years in Denmark when I had declared that I was done living in countries where the sun disappears for months and temperatures drop to -20 degrees Celsius! So, it is evident that the heat of Doha doesn’t bother me. Although I have yet to live through a summer where temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celsius!
Living now in an Islamic country means we have an entire new culture to respect. One being their laws about alcohol. When comparing to where we have lived, the ability to purchase and drink alcohol has ranged from one end of the spectrum to the other.
We are official residents of Qatar! Every time we have moved to a new country we have had to establish residency in our host country. Obviously every country has its own rules on how to go about it depending on your citizenship, and now we have had a very different experiences as one can imagine.
In Norway, we entered as U.S. citizens, which meant that my husband first had to receive his residency before I could apply for mine. Based off of his employment, I was then entitled to join him in Norway. Every year though I had to go through the renewal process to retain residency though nothing had changed in our personal lives. It was always frustrating because of the amount of documentation that was required, such as copies of passports, documenting dates of our travels outside of Norway, proof of income and proof that I hadn’t received any social benefits. Not to mention that there always seemed to be a back log to process through the citizen service center. Processing times ranged from weeks to months.
A little sense of freedom is the ability to drive yourself somewhere. After a week of being chauffeured around we finally drove through the streets of Doha ourselves. While it seems simple, it is actually quite daunting for many reasons.