Photo: Sunset from the apartment

I drive along the most beautiful strip every morning to drop the kids at school, on the way the “Corniche” (as it is called here), stretches for about 5 km’s along the West Bay of Doha, with the sea lapping along the shoreline with a calmness that speaks tranquility. Every morning to school I notice the buildings along the right of the road going from the magnificent creatures they are building encased in glass of different colours, from black to silver to blue to gold, on to open spaces and then into the buildings from the past. The Post Office built with strange little archways, the Emire’s palace, the government buildings, clock tower, museums, souq and turrets all old with specific Arabic shapes and engravings and meanings. It is a wonder to behold.
On the way back I marvel at the extent of the new city, as it slowly appears to me once again on the right. It stretches across the bay water and seems to appear as a mirage as the water of the bay laps at its feet. I soak up the images like a sponge, I drink it in, because isn’t this what life is about. About drinking in every moment, every feeling, every image that etches itself into your life.
I remember driving in SA and fetching the kids for the last time from school and thinking to myself, I will never drive this route again and trying desparately to “Drink” the drive in, to remember to not forget every moment and thought and feeling, tree, bump in the road, twist or turn, that I have had and done over the past 2 1/2 years of driving that same route. I never took that time in until that last day, I never thought my life would change, that things would ever be different.
But it does change and it is so very important that you take every moment you live on this planet in. Every emotion you go through, every word you say and every moment you live – soak it all in and enjoy it, love it and be it. That has become important to me now, not just doing and getting things done, but being and living.
Sean has been saying lately (and it is so simple in kids terms), “Mom, you know that bite you are about to take? Well that will be the last of that bite you will ever take….” So simple but so true….he of course goes on to say “It travels through your body and goes through and becomes ….” blah blah – we all know the end of that sentence as parents…. But he is right, this moment will never happen again, just enjoy it for what it is!

That is my little bit of wisdom for the day…..

So life….. yes life it is. Jessica is becoming braver by the day and has now had 7 injections and has 3 to go. Thank goodness, it is a terrible experience for her and she is just incredibly brave. The boys came to check out what it was all about last night and were very impressed as to what she is going through at the moment. Mom the fact that you do this 3 times a day every day makes you my hero. It is tough!

The kids have enjoyed school this week and Jess has made a friend – Nathan and Sean has made 2 friends – Josh and John (all the J’s)…. Nathan and Josh are from the UK and John from SA. We have also met a couple more people from SA – today at Church which was fun and we got to eat koeksusters yong!!

Yesterday was interesting for me and an entire spate of errors, on my part. I was meant to meet the “car” guy to exchange the car they loaned us while ours was being fixed, back to our car (you know, like a drug deal). Needless to say, I got stuck in traffic (with Ramadan people leave work at odd hours so traffic is hell), I then noticed that the petrol gauge was on empty (that comes with drinking in the scenery, watch out for that one if you decide to do a bit of drinking…lol) and then took a wrong turning. I saw a sign saying Najma (Yes the signs are hard to read!! and remember)…anyway I know Najma Road and figured, ok this is a short cut to whre I am going to,let me try this way out (note to self, don’t try new routes when you are in a hurry), and took that turnoff. Needless to say, the sign meant that the area was Najma area and not Najma road…shit. On top of that the guy (Monsoor) phoned to let me know he was at ‘the spot”. I told him my little dillema of being lost and almost out of petrol…his response “No worries I fill up car, you get here…” (“And if I run out of petrol before then Monsoor – I am thinking at the time….Nothing phases these guys). I put the phone down and continue on my way, trying to find something that is familiar, without much hope as the roads are Al Mohamed or Al Nambababa cookie wookie you name it, I cannot pronounce or read it or find it on my map which is now in tatters. I decide, ok don’t panic, first phone the school to let them know I am going to be late, then phone Monsoor and give him an update…..well then my phone decides it is not happy and I have a black screen and no button sounds, as I desparately push buttons to get some response…..guys are pushing in from all sides in the traffic, my line is going the slowest (isn’t that just typical) and I am now starting to get irritated!
By now I am sweating, not only from the heat now but from the thought of being really late to fetch the kids….in the distance I see some flood lights which means that the stadium is close and the kids school is just in front of that…..get there….wrong stadium but I am now on the road that takes me to the school (I think thank goodness some of the roads are easy – D Ring road can’t forget that one)….then I need to figure out which direction I must go…..because please remember I am now driving on the wrong (right) side of the road….shit shit shit…..ok I think I am still relatively calm considering I cannot read any of the signs, am completely “rigting bedonderd” (translated to english – have no idea what direction I should be going in ever) and am now bloody late for everything. Eventually get to the school 20 minutes late – not too bad, am fairly calm still and can act as such in the school grounds and getting the kids into the car. Now on to the switch spot, got the message from Monsoor on our very last comms where he said: “something something something (Blah blah blah) across The Mall (name of shopping centre across the road from where the school is and the Mosque)” I am thinking ok meet you at The Mall. Drive screaming into The Mall after taking about 10 minutes to cross the road (traffic can be a bugger here, as I have said already….lol), drive around the parking lot like a “parking lot” and cannot find bloody Monsoor (feel like calling him Monsoon by now), gently (hahaha) get the kids out of the car (Because remember I have no bloody phone that works now), dash into The Mall to find someone who I will pay anything to, just to speak to Steve to find out where Monsoor is….the Mall is (guess please do) effing closed….i think this cannot be happening, the entire mall is closed!! Rama dam….thank goodness there is a security guard who saunters over to me to let me know (like I cannot see) that the bloody mall is closed. Like this “The mall it is not open”….ok got that one bud….so thought I would try my luck …..stilted English!! I ask fingers to ear like a phone “Cell phone please I pay anything, cell phone please please…” Eventually a cleaner takes pity on me and loans me his…..Steve when I get through to him says “yes, I know (sip of coffee goes through lips), Monsoor has been calling – frantic, your phone is off (he thinks you put it off) and he has been waiting for you at the Mosque across from The Mall….”….I say tell him to come to the Mall….yay communication done and over…..we are saved! Wait another 15 minutes, no one arrives, go back into the Mall to use phone again (which I did pay for by the way, poor guy refused at first but I insisted – imagine Denise stuffing money into a meek little phillipinos pocket saying please I insist – I think he thought I was accosting him)!!! Anyway get the bloody phone from him again….get Steve….another sip of coffee…”yes yes don’t worry he is on his way!!”
Back outside, put car on sit inside hope we won’t die from being cooked alive, it is so hot, sweating like bloody pigs, stink like them too! delightful, but very funny…
Monsoor arrives….can anything feel so absolutely wonderful. He saunters over, “I am so sorry….explain myself…blah blah” HE says “no worries, I fell asleep in the reception area of the Mosque, I woke up and got worried that you were still lost, but you not, no worries, you just be safe” No worries here at all. The guys waited 45 minutes for me and then drove another 15 minutes (to get across the bloody road) to deliver the car….have you ever. In SA (probably lots of other places too) they would have been swearing at you if you ever did that to them, never mind meeting you to swop cars so that it was convenient for you!!
That was my adventurous Thursday lunch time. I had a good laugh about the whole thing, a comedy of errors it surely was!

Whatch this space though, things are never dull here.

Enjoy your Saturday guys…..