Marhaba! Currently in Doha, 11:15 am, 37C. How hot is it? Check out this link:
Expat Woman Bakes Cookies in Her Car
The kids have made it through their first full week of school. It's still hard to get our heads around the new work week - I usually spend all day Sunday thinking it's Monday. This morning, we've already been to the pool (with our newly repaired dinghy - fingers crossed!) and Dan has gone to play hockey.
Yesterday, my neighbour Lynn (who I knew from when we lived in Norman Wells, NWT) took me shopping, and showed me where to find some of the things I haven't been able to find on my own. We stopped first at a Dean and Deluca location in Villagio Mall - if you're not familiar with the chain, it's a high-end grocery store (or, more appropriately, a "gourmet boutique"). They carry things like specialty coffee beans, imported pastas, and even balsamic vinegar that looks like a good bottle of Scotch - 200 ml in a fancy bottle, nestled in a padded box, all for the low price of 700QR (200CAD). We didn't buy anything there - maybe when Ramadan is over I'll go back for some of their pastries. We walked down to Carrefour, where we got most of our shopping done. When were ready to leave, we tried to take our carts to the exit near Dean and Deluca, but the security guard stopped us. Apparently, no carts are allowed in the area with Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Tiffany stores! Which made me think, don't rich people need carts, too? Apparently they have "people" to do their shopping for them...
One of the things I've needed to be careful of when looking for a public toilet (all North Americans: read "bathroom"), is that I don't go into a prayer room by mistake. Nicholas and I almost did this on our first trip to the mall - the rooms are labelled with the male and female symbols. The only thing that tipped me off as I was reaching for the door handle was the sign, in English, which read "No food or drink allowed in the prayer room". Upon closer inspection, I realized that the symbol which I thought was hamburger, was really shaped like the top of a mosque!
Sometimes it's hard to remember that we're living in a Middle Eastern country, but yesterday Lynn had a story for me that brought me back to reality. Dan and I don't have our bank account set up jointly yet, but Lynn and her husband do. Every time she takes money out of their account, Bill gets a text message from the bank letting him know! Lynn does not receive the same courtesy when Bill accesses the account.
On the school front, things seem to be going well. The school follows an American curriculum, and has a cut-off date of Sept. 1 for birthdays. Suddenly, our kids (with their birthdays in May and June) are some of the youngest in the their classes! Nicholas was unable to take Arabic this year because the number of students enrolled in the beginner level wasn't high enough. Dan and I were pretty keen to have him take a foreign language, so yesterday he had a French assessment, and he was too fluent for even high school French! The principal and counsellor are working on trying to get him into a second level Spanish course, just to keep him going with another language.
Ben told us yesterday about the kids in his class and where they're from. I'm going to let him take over now and give you his fascinating list:
Megan: Savannah, Georgia, USA
Blaise: Orlando, Florida
Soleyma: Petawawa, Ontario
Grace: New Zealand
Andrew C: Texas
Andrew M: Pittsburg
There's one more but I can't remember where he's from.
Enjoy your weekend!