Is that a new statement then? A Local Expat or should it be an Expat Local? Probably not. However, this is how I now feel.
On my way to dropping Sean off at the Music Academy, a Qatar Foundation (QF) funded music school to which he goes to for free as it is subsidized by the QF. Lucky is my Local Expat son, zippo to be trained by the best musicians in the world. We found that the CD’s and iPod had been removed from the car due to its latest service. Usually I would put the local Al Jazeera News channel on, which is the TV station filtered onto the radio (imagine the scenario of Audio with no visuals, with news readers voice overs saying: “some people may find the following visuals disturbing, etc”, no worries there we are cool in this car).
However, we (Qatar) have a local radio station 97.5 (which I get on 97.4 so we joke about the fact that our favourite station at home was 94.7, there are notable differences, but I will not go into those!) We bop along to a lot of old music (which I really don’t mind as old is now the 1980s, 1990s which I quite frankly thoroughly enjoy) and then a little bit of new rock, pop, rap, a few arabic songs and loads of local adverts.
Now this is where I have started to feel like a local 🙂
When you are driving along and you hear “Al Jazeera is offering special deals at Al Jarir Bookshop which is on Al Salwa Road (yes everything is Al)” and I am going oh gosh I know where all those places are and I understood what you said. I have this blocked hearing problem when it comes to understanding people with different accents.
Then you know you live on Al Beday road in Al Luqta which runs from Al Shamal Road towards Al Waab Road.
25°18’29.90″ N 51°27’38.93″ E
Then you have to know a bit of lingo : “Salam alaykum – Peace be upon you”, “Marhaba – Welcome”, “Shukran – Thanks”, “min fadlak – please”, “al hamdu lillah – by God’s grace”, “Afwan – not at all” (that is my favourite – afwan afwan)…. ok so not that much Arabic coming out of me, but it is something. I can follow the greetings and know when someone is afwan or al hamdu lillah – which comes up all the time in conversation, so remove those words and there are certainly fewer to learn!! 🙂
Hmmm could I pull this off?