Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A ironic list about the signs of living in Qatar for too long


 How long have you been to Qatar ? How did it change your ways when returning home ?

 It is an interesting and ironic article .It is a British woman's point of view . Me as a Hungarian expat in Qatar see things slightly  in a different way .

 I  never use the five star hotels as a landmark when navigating the city . I feel lucky that a four star hotel  opened some years ago the next street and this way and I am able to make  the taxi driver understand where to come .
I have never found funny the street names here . Except for OLD SALATA  area - this is a district 's name in Doha and it means the OLD SALAD's area  - guess it - there is New Salata area as well !
But I think vegetables can be street names in other parts of the world too . At least in our town  at the posh green belt there are streets like ; Bean street , Pea street , Lentil street  .
 I wish our street in Doha had a name !Vegetable or  any other ! It has not . It  was built around ten years ago only .  Other interesting street name here  for me is Kahraba  street   which means the street of the Electricity  -  as this was the first street where  homes were supplied with  electricity .
Reading street names is a good way to practice Arabic reading. In Doha every street name is written both in English and Arabic .We often practice this way when walking the side streets with my  little children .

 The sight of farm animals on a truck is not unusual for me .Here one can see sometimes camels /sheeps being carried  somewhere. At home in Hungary I see horses  /cows rather .

Despite of leaving in Qatar for a decade I can stand the cold well .However sometimes it feels much colder than one should expect when it is 17 -18 C as the winds from the sea are usually very strong .

 I rarely drink Karak -  usually when I am at the Katara district .

About the Western outfits .  I was shocked when I came to Qatar . How many British women show their body ...I mean that this is a conservative Muslim country  and apparently they did not care .I was shocked to see overweight young   British women showing their tummy when wearing small tees when it should have been rather covered as there was nothing to be proud of .Luckily in Hungary women have more common sense and they cover up when it is more flattering .:)

 I miss the rain very much . I need it  as inspiration . I get very much in mood of writing when it is raining outside . The constant sunshine makes me an extroverted person.

  When  I went home the first time from Qatar I was shocked about the amount of green areas in my country  - about the indifference of the people towards the wonderful summer nights ( at eight everyone is at home watching tv ) - here though summer nights not as enjoyable as at home -one can see families in the parks even at midnight . I was shocked hearing a lots of foul language in Hungary / smell of wine and palinka in the streets and tobacco smoke at public places .I was impressed  how cheap my beautician works ( though she was trained in Paris and used famous French brands ) and that  despite the massive media coverage the Hungarian - Gypsy conflicts had no apparent signs  in the streets .I was pleased to hear that at the Tesco the shop assistants and the cashier was very polite and nice to the  Roma customers too  - that is rather  strange  attitude from shop assistants in Hungary .
Well - if there is a thing I really liked in Qatar that it is  impossible that anyone could be accused of stealing at shop only because he/she has a tan . I could tell you about humiliating experiences when the cashier made me empty my bag and pockets just because  my kids had not soo white look .Street dogs are rare here as well , and streets are not infected by their dirt .
Well , that was the point of view of a Hungarian living in Qatar for a decade .

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