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    5 July 2006
    Cat is back

    Can’t believe I am in back in Doha after a holiday. In a way it feels like I’ve never even left Qatar. Little has changed over the last couple of weeks other than the weather and traffic. It’s much hotter now than it was when I left, but driving is way better with fewer motorists on the roads. I missed Doha... As a person who’s never had a long term residence address I feel at home here already, and I missed this home. I missed places and people, food, work, malls, driving, the routine. This is strange as I am not the one to stick to the routine generally, and I welcome change.


    This time my holiday provided plenty of “change”. It was a reverse culture shock, I guess. After a few years in the
    Middle East the Mediterranean culture seemed almost foreign to me. Everything was different. Noisy and leggy Europeans, wine or beer with lunch, mixed crowds, nightlife, topless sunbathers, and hordes of elderly tourists complete with latest digicams and guide books in every single European language. Plenty of sun and sea and entertainment and exposed flesh. It was fun, really, Malta.

    Staying in the Intercontinental was an experience in itself, mostly enjoyable. It is right in the centre of nightlife zone and that meant I was never short of entertainment. Though I have to add that wandering around the hotel resulted in me feeling old, after looking at teenage show stoppers in sparkly tops and tiny skirts or hotpants parading around with equally gorgeous teenage boys that looked like they just jumped off the surf board… But it was also quite refreshing not to have to endure stares and whispers of people disapproving of my choice of clothes as happens only too often in Qatar (I don’t cover, obviously). In fact I felt terribly overdressed in my loose linen trousers and short sleeved tops.

    It was a great holiday, and just long enough. I won’t go into details; I posted enough photos of Malta already. All I can say is that I love the country and I would definitely go there again sometime.

    I am glad to be home. For those who don’t know yet, I got a new car. Woo hoo! I got it the day after I came back from holidays. Many thanks to those who helped me with all the car fixing and trading-in business as well as new car registration and final quotes. Much appreciated... I owe you ;-) I love my new car and I am still being overly careful with it. Well, you know how it is. For example, it took me forever to reverse out of my parking the other day although my previous car was the same size. I was just sitting there laughing at myself.

    Many other little things happened since I got back home, but I can’t think of anything else to share. I know I have totally ignored all of you lately so I will be reading and catching up on all your news so don’t give up on me just yet!

    posted by Bravecat @ 3:43 pm  
    22 Comments:
    • At 05/07/2006, 16:52, Blogger don_veto said…

      Welcome back. I need a vacation also but its just work, work, work for me :-(

       
    • At 06/07/2006, 00:01, Anonymous jack said…

      viva la Catty ...

      True story about a new car last year. We decided that we weren't going to smoke, drink or eat in our new car. Then we had to evacuate for a hurricane.

      6 hours and 50 miles into the evacuation we were smoking, drinking, eating and peeing in a bottle ... in our new car!

       
    • At 06/07/2006, 01:05, Blogger Sever said…

      No words.

      Only kisses for my Aunt.

      Murrrrr...

       
    • At 06/07/2006, 07:37, Blogger peacefulmuslimah said…

      Ahlan wa sahlan! Missed your blogging, cat.

      That is funny about the stares/whispers you receive here in Doha because I have the same experience and I AM covered! I've always just chalked it up to fascination with foreigners. Do you find that men or women are worse in this regard and do you sometimes notice that certain ethnicities are worse than others?

      You are lucky you live and work in an area where the road situation is improving because I am in Ain Khaled and working in Ed City. They have effectively torn up roads along every decent route to work and it doesn't look like it will be finished before the fall semester starts in early August :(

      But no matter the gripes, I feel the same way you do about Doha -- it's home ;-)

      Salaam,
      PM

       
    • At 06/07/2006, 09:04, Blogger U.E. said…

      Yaaaayy! You're back. :* I'm glad you enjoyed your mini-break. I take particular pleasure that you were seiged by men in short pants. :p

      Can't WAIT till we go to Disneyland. I'm gonna get A in short pants and then make sure you stand uncomfortably close to any manner of men who dare wear them. :p I forsee much line juggling to ensure you are stuck on rides with complete strangers in short pants, legs rubbing... wait, I better just stop there before I get you in trouble. Or me! LOL

      Missed ya!

       
    • At 06/07/2006, 11:49, Blogger Namika said…

      Welcome back :) I wish if i could travel as well :( I wanna go out of Oman ...


      yalla start posting now :D

       
    • At 06/07/2006, 13:28, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      I missed my blog, your blogs and all the comments :^)

      DV,

      Aren't you taking a vacation this summer??

      Jack,

      LOL I can totally imagine doing exact same thing... save perhaps peeing in the bottle... :p

      Sever,

      Kisses back, missed ya!

      PM,

      I think in Qatar they'll stare at any caucasian female whatever the clothes, to be honest. Men stare at me the most, and women usually just give an evil look for some reason.
      The situation with the roads is moving from bad to worse, unfortunately. In almost every area of town. Are you in Doha?
      Salaam!

      UE,

      Course I am back, how could I stay away for long? ;-) I was haunted by men in short pants, and women in hotpants. And no you are NOT doing any such thing! I hate men in short pants! Unless it's at the beach, men should definitely wear long trousers, and that's THAT. Women can wear whatever they please though :p

      Namika,

      I am posting already! Can't say the same about you though :p

       
    • At 06/07/2006, 14:47, Blogger Nash said…

      Welcome back QC. Glad your holiday turned out to be full of fun. Congrats on your new car... I love the smell of new car seats :)

       
    • At 06/07/2006, 16:26, Anonymous Carlsb3rg said…

      I admire you courage to stand by ur beliefs, especially knowing how the qatary society treats an unveiled woman, or for that matter, a woman who doesnt wear an 'abaya'. But with the change qatar is undergoing, i think more women will go your path.

       
    • At 06/07/2006, 18:28, Anonymous kaleidoscope said…

      Welcome back and let the sarcasm rip.

       
    • At 08/07/2006, 14:57, Blogger Susanne said…

      Welcome back!

       
    • At 08/07/2006, 19:04, Blogger ahmed said…

      Mewo!

      Welcome back dear..u've been missed..ur POSTS have been missed ;)

       
    • At 08/07/2006, 20:18, Blogger Mise said…

      Ok QC...spill! ... Have you scratched it yet? ;-D ... someone did mine in a supermarket car park on the first day ...lol...

       
    • At 08/07/2006, 21:27, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Nash,

      I LOVE the smell of a new car! :^)

      Carlsberg,

      To be honest, there isn't much courage to admire as I lack any substantial beliefs to defend.. Other than the absense of them. And besides, most women don't cover here in Doha (I think). But still, it's great to hear some encouragement!

      Kaleidoscope,

      Thanks and yeah, I guess I'll stop holding back and go for it.

      Susanne,

      Thanks thanks! Missed writing :^)

      Ahmed,

      LOL thanks and yes I'll do my best to make up!

      Mise,

      Oh no no no you have NOT just asked me that!! I haven't scratched it and I will probably seriously scratch the offender's face should someone else scratch my beautiful baby, lol

      :p

       
    • At 09/07/2006, 10:10, Blogger Mise said…

      QC..You know that I'd never wish that on you :-D ...and with your claws, on anyone else either ;-D

       
    • At 09/07/2006, 15:29, Blogger Degoat said…

      Welcome back..

      Malta is beautiful

      G

       
    • At 10/07/2006, 10:38, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Mise,

      Wisely stated, my friend
      :p

      G,

      Whoah! You're alive! :D

       
    • At 11/07/2006, 08:58, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      Cat,

      back in the day (and I mean like 10-15 years ago), there were NO cars in Qatar in the summer. I mean NONE. We didn't have traffic to begin with, so in August when EVERYBODY (all seven people) left, there were no cars. Gotta love the way the heat sends people on them planes far, far, away.

      I am glad to hear you had a good break and am glad you're glad to be home. Home is a nice feeling. :)

      Again, mabrook on the voiture. After the first 1000km, no need to be careful. You can zoom zoom all you like (although I get the feeling you're not like the rest of the Dumb Doha Drivers, i.e. myself)

       
    • At 11/07/2006, 11:05, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Chica,

      When are you coming over? We'll take the voiture for a spin and you'll assess the traffic situation in Doha first hand.

      No traffic? Oh happy days, blessed days. There is no such thing as "no traffic". There is bad traffic and very bad traffic.

      Sigh

       
    • At 12/07/2006, 02:12, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      Me? coming to Doha.. hehe..

      could be a while.

      I believe I have to make it back before January the first in order for the good ole RP not to expire.. so, christmas time, I suppose.

      As for that traffic.. hold on, in a year or two.. they will have (hopefully) built enough highway to accomodate all the newbies..

      And you're 100% correct- no traffic were the happy blessed days. In fact, when I think of all the construction and development.. it kind of makes me a bit nostalgic and sad. I remember when "the mall" came into being. It was the first one and everyone was so excited. It was the place to be. Every weekend, we hung out in the damn mall. It didn't even have a cinema back then. hehehe.. Doha rocks.

       
    • At 12/07/2006, 09:53, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Chica,

      Great. I am not going to be here for Xmas.

      Doha rocks anyway. You should see it now. When was the last time you were here, anyways?

       
    • At 12/07/2006, 18:46, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      not that long ago...

      I was in Doha for last christmas up until around January the 12th or something.

       
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