It is now twelve months since I arrived in Doha. The initial optimism and enthusiasm for a new life in a new country thousands of miles away has not diminished.
I have chronicled much of these twelve months in this blog and I will continue noting things that interest or amuse me until nobody reads it any more. I have been surprised by the number of times the pages are viewed. I don’t say ‘read’ as I have no idea whether people arrive via Google and are then disappointed by the content and head off elsewhere in the web.
Of over 11,200 views, 4,938 are from people in the UK, 2,222 in Qatar, 1,100 in the USA, 485 in Belize and 282 from Canada. I can certainly identify the Belize readers with some certainty.
A number of these views are doubtless from friends, relatives, acquaintances and former colleagues who are following our adventures in the Middle East… the remainder are from all across the world including people who, like us, are expats in a new country or potential expats finding out more about life in Qatar.
I am also following a few blogs written by people who, like me, have moved to Qatar. On a weekend afternoon out at Katara in the early summer I saw what looked like a familiar face. We’d never met before but we both instantly recognised each other from photos in our respective blogs.
Another blog, from a new arrival in Doha, said ‘I’ve been researching Qatar through so many useful expat blogs (I love ian-edelman.com) ‘ – thank you Holly.
A recent conversation with an expat of 8 years began with the question ”Did I like living in Qatar?’ My answer was an unequivocal yes… yet there are many western expats who complain about life here despite the high, tax free incomes and all pervasive service economy which makes life much easier than ‘back home’. Qatar is also extremely safe, albeit not that far from trouble hotspots.
Of course there are negatives, such as the traffic, the sometimes oppressive heat of the high summer, but it is hard to make a long list. I don’t miss the changing seasons, the rain and cold or much else about the green and pleasant land.
What looked exotic twelve month ago is now common place… the sounds of spoken Arabic, the predominant beige of the landscape, the smell of shisha, the sun and the climate, palm trees, men in thobes and women in abayas.
It is now a few days after the Eid break following Ramadan. I am back at work doing a job I really enjoy. I am now looking forward to the next twelve months.