Have A Nice Day Friday

January 14, 2011

Carpet in a lift today

Today is Friday, the start of my weekend.  Whilst in practice this is fine – work wise it’s very odd.  The term ‘Monday to Friday’ becomes ‘Sunday to Thursday’,  today is 01/14/11 not 14/01/11 – my job is planning with days and dates – my colleagues are starting to take the mickey – I explained that for 43 years my weekends have been Sat and Sun and dates written day first – give me more than 10 days to get it right – you know what I mean!

Ceremonial Courtyard (Education City)

Ceremonial Court - Detail (Education City)

A Qatari women at work said she liked my skirt in the corridor this week – I was chuffed!  I’ve been concerned about what is OK office attire – I took this as a big thumbs up – I’m still completely paranoid about cleavage!

‘The West’ could learn something from the stance of family and child care I have observed thus far.  Working parents happily go and pick up kids after school and then come back, for a couple of days a week my colleagues 8 year old daughter comes in at 4pm and happily sits at a desk and does her homework with her Dad helping her.  There is an obvious presence of children and childcare within the building.  It seems so natural and gets me wondering why the powers that be make parenting so difficult in Australia and the UK.  It is simply as it is here – if your child needs to be here for you to work then so be it.

Education City - University Campus

Education City - Detail

I know this statement is weird considering where I am and the culture I am immersed in –  but – there is something wonderful about the fact, and it’s almost a wish come true, that here you can park outside where you want to go, there are no queues, for example I could go to H & M and a – get the to racks, b – get in the fitting room straight away and c- pay and leave.  I go to the bank, they welcome me, get me a seat and smile.  I go to the post office – no line – in and out in under a minute.  Customer service is pitched perfectly.  I love this!  I have secretly wished it for years!  The novelty may spread thin – this also indicates a complete absence of street life and the ambience that ensues.

Education City

The knitting group was delightful – a lovely myriad of women of different ages and anglo nations – Brits, Americans, Kiwis and Aussies.  They were full of advice and tips – and directions to beaches!  I have to get a car – at this stage if only for weekends – it will open up the city and country for me.  If I can beach one day a weekend i’ll be a very happy camper.  It was lovely to meet them and get a different perspective on Doha along with some sound financial advice – let’s not pretend anyone is here for any reason other than the money.  I love the transparency of this fact.  It seems very honest.
The knitting was good too!  Nice to share craft knowledge and meet other knitting nerds.

Grass Qatar style

I spent today sun-baking at an apartment block in the City Centre – QAR50 for a banana lounge by a pool and a steam and sauna after.  This could be the way forward until I negotiate my car allowance.

Pool at Ezdan Towers

I’m missing the BBC and good tele –  I have to do something about extending my range of channels.  I’m watching a lot of Animal Planet – which is very weird as I worked on all their current promos at BDA  in London – I versioned their January promos for Eastern European and Middle Eastern feeds – and now I am watching them on air in situ.  TV is heavily censored – sex not violence – somewhere there is a reel of kisses:

At this stage, apart from friends and family of course – I am missing my spinning wheel and my cat.  I’ve enquired about fostering a cat from the local cat charity until I leave in March.  It’s run by an Aussie – hopefully ‘Lewis’ will arrive tomorrow – don’t tell Bubs – I feel like an adulterer!

Watching the floods at home has been heart wrenching.  I makes my resolve to head home soon stronger as I see images of home and hear tales of the Australian spirit.  The devastation unfathomable as I see places I know covered in water – the flash flood in Towoomba was the stuff of nightmares.  Thoughts and prayers.

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