Off Piste

June 14, 2011

I am feeling a little of piste.  After an initial month of positive thoughts and focus I am increasingly wondering how the f*** I ended up here.  Instead of focusing on the silver linings, thoughts of discontent and alienation are seeping in.  Trying to keep my eye firmly on the prize whilst contemplating how and why the Fates sent me here.

Old Fort

The hardest thing is having to ‘cover up’ it’s been over 45 for weeks and I want to wear as little as possible – a singlet top – but this is ‘inappropriate’ and is starting to p**s me off.  I was no so subtly reminder of the dress policy last week as I undid a top button on a shirt – revealing the top of a singlet top and exposing a small amount of cleavage.  I was previously told that a skirt coming in a 2cm under my knee was also too short.  All conversations have been friendly and instigated by my female colleagues.

I also had an urge to change my ring tone to something inappropriate – Closer by the Nine Inch Nails came to mind – I feel decidedly subversive at the moment.  Of course this will not happen – I don’t want to be arrested – but I did have an afternoon at work listening to lots of rude, dark heavy tunage to purge myself – Grinderman and Peaches helped.

Museum of Islamic Art

I’ve been keeping busy – Qatar is very social as ex-pats tend to stick together and everyone is hospitable and friendly.  Sometimes evenings out are not exactly my cup of tea, but it’s a bit like when I was living in the country – you make do with what’s on offer and keep an open mind – I don’t really expect any alternative discos or sublime art exhibitions.  In saying that there was a Dutch Masters exhibition at the Museum of Islamic Art which was rather good – always love a Vermeer – and the building was great.  My only criticism is that it needed to be dressed a little better in the foyer – you could tell straight blokes had a handle on the interiors!

There have been a few house parties and nights out in lovely hotel bars – all posh cocktails  and top end service.  Had an hilarious camp night out with trolly dollies, glitter and a truck load of pork – very random.

A Touch of Desert Camp

Looks like cat number 3 may stay with me over the summer – the place is about to empty as all the schools and uni’s break for summer and people take leave to escape the heat. For example out of 12 women in my knitting group only three of us are around over the summer.  I’m already working on my Ramadan plan – a good craft project and a list of others in town to share hospitality whilst everything is shut during daylight hours.  All hotel bars will close and no restaurants open during the day – not sure what the deal is with work – I think they give us a tent out the back where smokers and eaters must co-exist.  Can’t say I’m looking forward to it – but my plan is to expect the worse and then it can only get better (a bit like flying Ryan Air).

Cat 2 of 2 - Carla

Have made excursions to the beach a couple of times – even found a cute fishing village overlooking some mangroves – the nicest ‘view’ thus far.

Fishing Village

Mangroves - nicest view thus far

Some of the dust storms have been quite severe – there was a day I didn’t dare leave the flat.

Dust Storm

Overall I am preferring the heat to an English winter – but must say I do miss clouds (of the white variety) and a day of rain could be rather pleasant.


3 Responses to “Off Piste”

  1. RosMadeMe Says:

    Peta, God I miss your wit and humour! Can I be a virtual member of your knitting group… can you go international?

    Prepare yourself to gorge stupidly when the sun goes down during Ramadan… I seem to remember that Sainsbugs in Whitechapel upped their sales by about 20% during this period, go figure.

    Keep your chin up.


  2. Kelly Says:

    You write so well Pete. Thanks very much for the “Closer” earworm. That’s a fine song to have stuck in my head.
    Wish I was with you there or here or somewhere. Hang in there kitten. I hear you on the dress code. Got the same BS when I first arrived in Hong Kong. I had the temerity to bare my shoulders at work, in a very conservative floral, long, cleavage covering sundress. How risque! I have concluded finally that I will never, ever, understand certain attitudes and behaviours here and that getting off piste (nice!) about them is futile. Doesn’t stop the occassional seahunt of a day though. Big love. x

  3. pot Says:

    pot has read this talk when you get home all well here wet and winter

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