Ian Edelman in Doha

Expat exploits in Qatar

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Camping at home

We’ve now sold the 3-piece suite and instead we’re using garden chairs in the living room!

Most of the remaining furniture has been sold but at least we still have it until early September.

All my office furniture has been returned to HCC and I am now using a rickety plastic garden table.

The bed is definately going to be the last thing to go.


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House to let

When I came back from work yesterday a ‘To Let’ sign was up on our house. I’d signed papers with the lettings agency the day before. It’s now on Rightmove and I believe other sites as well.

We’ve gone for families only, no pets and no smokers.

So waiting for the first viewings for occupation in early October.

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How hot is hot?

According to the weather forecaster on radio 4, today is apparently going to be hottest day so far this year in the UK, topping out at 31C.

The temperature is Doha is going to be a balmy 44C or something over 110F. It will be starting to get slightly cooler in Qatar when I arrive in early September. I have no idea what 44C feels like, but I will let you know in a future post.

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Speaking Arabic

Although English is widely spoken and will be the language used at work most of the time, I have been taking tentative steps in learning Arabic.

I have sampled a range of the ‘teach yourself’ audio and audio/video training courses. I was disappointed with Rosetta Stone, both for it’s learning style and having to sit a watch it on the PC. I also have Byki on my iPhone but yet to use it.

So far I have found Pimsleur the most effective and easiest to use but only when listening when I am on my own in the car… that way I can repeat the Arabic words and phrases aloud without anyone listening.

I have found that 30 minutes is about as long as I can concentrate, but I am finding it difficult to retain what I learn… more that I cannot remember many of the words or phrases between sessions and sometimes within the session but I can usually understand what is being said.

I have picked up the obvious… hello, good morning… thank you etc, and most usefully I am now fluently say ‘Excuse me do you speak English’… that should get me by in the short term.

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Got the visa!

A couple of weeks ago I received the contract with the Museum of Islamic Art and yesterday got the visa confirmation which will allow me to work in Qatar. So it’s taken around 7 months since I was offered the job and another two months before I depart for Doha.

I resigned from my web manager post with Hampshire County Council having worked there, in various museum and web posts, for over 25 years. Clicking the send button for the resignation email was a satisfying but slightly scary moment.

Next steps will be to rent out the house in the UK, pack up what we need, store some and get rid of the rest, and sort out some legal and tax stuff.