Qatar So Far

Monday, August 07, 2017

Good Evening, first post from Doha!

The Corniche in Doha

I am very much in the honeymoon phase still but nonetheless loving it here so far. It feels great to be in a new environment. We've been well cared for and my fellow newbies are all vibrant and great.

The journey thus far has been a pleasant one. My flight from Atlanta was unusually comfortable and went by unusually quick to me despite the 13.5 hour trip. Qatar Airways deserves its prestige.

Water is not the first thing that I was expecting to see on arrival.

Row all to myself on Qatar Airways

I was actually looking forward to being dumbfounded by the heat, just so I could say I was, but surprisingly it has been pretty bearable to me. Yes, it feels like you're sitting in a hot car on days when the humidity is high but I haven't felt miserable. August is the hottest month, so this is likely the worst of it. I think I will manage until it gets cool sometime in November.

Get into that real feel

Our students don't arrive until August 20, I am very anxious to meet them. As with previous posts (Korea, Cobb) I am nervous as all get out about making a positive impression on my students and their families. I don't usually desire to be liked by others, but here is where I make an exception; here's hoping it goes really well (and that I don't have duty outside).

Stunning entry way to my new school.

So far, I've been to three of the nine malls here, the new IKEA, and I've eaten at some of my favorite restaurants like Applebee's (judge me) and Cheesecake Factory. They also have Shake Shack, Texas Roadhouse, PF Chang's and many other familiar delicacies here. This all sounds great, but I'm determined to lose 20 lbs before the year is over. Therefore, my breakfasts and lunches will have to be really healthy because I'm definitely indulging in the aforementioned, lol. Qatar is a dry country; in order to purchase alcohol, you must pay 100QAR for a liquor license. The license also covers pork and cigarettes I believe, all of which are generally unacceptable here. Without alcohol (no, I will not pay for a license) I should be able to meet my weight goal. Between that and the sauna that is outside, I'm optimistic!

My first meal in Doha...IHOP! Haha!
And yes, it's just like back home!

Qatar is interesting. In addition to being the wealthiest nation in the world, it is also the smallest. Indians make up the majority of the est. 800,000 residents in Doha, followed closely by Filipinos and Pakistanis. Qataris make up less than half the population at just 300,000 nationwide; I am fascinated by that.

Qataris are very fond of the ruling family, the Emir's likeness is everywhere.

I have also noticed that there are many Black people here, mostly from The Continent. I have some Black British and Black American coworkers, I am very glad to see people that look like me.

I plan to be here at least four years and we'll see where things go from there. There isn't much to do in Qatar by way of adventure but fortunately I'm far from a turn up queen. We get the week off for the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday but I doubt I'll be traveling. I'll likely stay here and go sight seeing, stark contrast from when we got Chuseok off in Korea; I'd be on the first thing smoking outta there. But the  embargo persists, so I will use that time to get better acquainted with Doha.

I'm in a very good headspace right now. I am extremely optimistic about my future here. I haven't felt that way in a long time, and it feels great. Here's to a fresh start with nothing but positive vibes!

Great reminder from my new school home :)

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