Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010, 2:30 pm

Hi again!  Another beautiful day in Doha...forecast today is 41C, and current humidity is about 87%.

After 10 days here, I finally experienced driving first hand.  Thankfully, Dan was my navigator.  All the buildings are the same colour (picture sand-coloured buildings with terra cotta roofs), so I never know where I am because all landmarks look identical to me!  We went out in the Honda MRV after lunch, and since it's Ramadan, traffic was light.  As a non-resident, my Alberta licence is valid for two weeks after my arrival, so I've only got a few days left to get some practice in.  Once I have a Residence Permit I will only have to show my Canadian licence to get a Qatari licence.  It's great to be Canadian - expats from some other countries, including the US, have to undergo quite a rigorous driving test to get their licence here.

A couple of days ago, Ben said, "This pool would be way more fun if we had a raft."  So, off we went yesterday in search of the coveted dinghy.  Our first stop was Carrefour, a huge grocery/department store.  Imagine Superstore, but with none of the products that you are familiar with.  Without much searching, we found exactly what we were looking for, with a pump and a couple of oars, all for the ridiculously low price of 69QR (about 25 bucks).  Later in the day, while we were watching the kids use it, I commented to Dan that they were being really rough with it, and I was afraid it was going to get wrecked.  He responded, "Heck, at that price we'll go to Carrefour every week...a loaf of bread, some milk, and a new dinghy!"

Our next stop, for groceries, was the aptly named Lulu Hypermarket.  It seems as though all of the fasting Qataris decided to come out at the same time as us.  Parking was a nightmare, but we eventually found a spot about a million miles from the entrance, in full sun.  The line-ups inside were outrageous...strangely, by the time we were done, the place had pretty much cleared out.  Maybe the fact that it took us an hour and a half to find everything had something to do with it.  The kids were real troopers, and treated the whole ordeal like a scavenger hunt ("OK, you go find chocolate chips, I'll look for yeast!").  This store has probably the best produce out of all the stores we've been to so far, and also carries US beef, which we've heard is "the least tough" (not "the most tender"!) available in the area.  We even bought three kinds of ice cream (this is what happens when you go shopping with the whole family), and got it home before it melted.

That's it for today.  Tomorrow is the first day of school, and I think I'm filled with more trepidation than the kids!  This will be the first time that we are sending them off from the bus stop instead of accompanying them to school.  They will likely handle it better than I will.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, while we begin our week!

1 comment:

  1. I really look forward to your blogs and enjoy the pictures. This is also a learning experience for us. Good luck to the boys on their first day of s*****. I can't bring myself to say that word quite yet.