wow what a week, it has been so busy and interesting at the same time. So where to begin, perhaps on a philosophical note. If you can call this that. I have never liked having a big car, although the Freelander was fun and we now own a 4×4 (I really loved my Golf and A merc the most), however I am now of the opinion that when you live in Doha you need the biggest 4×4 you can possibly find…..you know those revolting GMC’s or Hummers, well that is what you need here. Drive one of those and most other cars stay very very far away from you and I must admit, I never come in the way of one of those….so don’t be surprised if my next car is one of those big revolting American giants….
On to my week…
Part of it was finding some metal kists to store camping gear and other household things that just needed a space to be stored in, so off I go in search of the shop where I last saw them. This was rather fun, once I had located where the shop was I need to find how to get there, sounds strange well it is. There are no turning spots in Doha, you have to go to the end of a road where there is a roundabout or U-Turn option to get to the other side of the road. So imagine- you are on the right hand side of the road, the shop is on the left, but there are no small off road turns at all….so you get to the next robot and you are either lucky enought to get a U-Turn option or you have to go straight to the next robot and hopefully that is one, sometimes you can go for km’s before there is a bloody turning….all very frustrating, however I have now found ways around this, you find little roads to the right of the road you are on, make sure you turn right at a robot, do a U-Turn in the middle of that road (as there are no islands and they are smaller roads) and come back through to the other side via the robot….all a bit complicated but necessary!
Anyway, once I had finally arrived at my destination, I bought the Kists and went on to the upholstery shop to get them to make covers for them so that we can use them as benches as well. This was probably the funniest part of the week, it took me 45 minutes to explain in sign language, pictures and stilted English of cushion, cut, material, cover, here, there and with a whoop after the 45 mins we had our ducks in a row and hopefully it will turn out ok….wish me luck!
Then on to the SA Ladies coffee day, it was by shear chance that I got an invite to this, I met a lady at Sean and Jess’ school when I asked if the girls could have a play date. Got chatting and she mentioned the coffee, so the next day we went off in her car, fetched her sister and a couple of other SA ladies and I met about 30 SA woman. Mostly Afrikaans and all great great girls. Everyone feels the change in culture, the traffic and driving, the climate, but everyone is really nice, fun and we had a good couple of laughs. So a day well spent in getting settled into a little contingency of people that I have a lot in common with. A small bunch that I was sitting with go camping out in the desert and we most certainly will be joining them in their adventures soon. A bit of off road biking will be part of the adventures. At the coffee they invited an artist to exhibit his work and it got me excited again to start painting, gonna pull those canvases out soon!
The kids and I also went for a walk / scooter along the corniche, which was fun! At the coffee we had to get to know another lady and then introduce her to the crowd, the woman I got – Roliene – was very sweet and in our chats I mentioned we had gone for a walk on the Corniche and she said that she had seen us and explained to me what the kids looked like and that they were on scooters – funny….such a smaller world!!
We started Yoga, swimming lessons and hockey this week too, great to do some extra sport – yoga for us and swimming and hockey for the kids. We also met a group of SA people at hockey, as well as people from the UK, France and China….international is the word of order here! hockey is run by an SA guy (Neville) from Durban who has been here for 3 years now.
Then I found the Toys-R-Us and it is great, not as big as the toy shops in SA, but good quality toys and enough to satisfy our kids needs. I spent an hour buying Sean his birthday presents and it was all so worthwhile. He opened his presents this morning and has been saying the entire day how wonderful his birthday has been and how great the day has been. And we have done a lot. From opening presents this morning, we went on to watch “Hancock”, then on to lunch and playing with Daniel for a while and his toys, off to Villagio and Ice-skating, cake and hot chocolate, then off to change our tickets for Ireland from the 18th to the 6th, to make it a longer trip and plans to go to London for a week, on to a quick supper and some ice-cream and home…. with ballet for Jess squeezed inbetween…..quite a day!
Needless to say we are almost finished unpacking, as this has also been quite a huge part of our week, I reckon 1 more week and we will be settled.
Things are slowly coming together for us and we are quite well settled at last!