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    Tennis
    30 September 2006
    Living in Qatar: Love or Hate?
    It is strange that I never blogged about my most interesting relationship of all. I am talking about my love/hate relationship with Qatar, of course.

    I've been living here for four years and therefore I am entitled to all the conclusions and generalisations. If u happen to disagree with me - fine, I don't pretend to be universally correct. What I hate you might love, but please don't feel the need to fight tooth and nail for it. You won't change my opinion just because yours is different. I would like to hear what you think, not why you think I am wrong.

    Part One - LOVE

    First and foremost - I love Qatar. I don't hate it. Unlike perhaps most expats I am not here to make money and go home. I live here because I choose to, not because I have no choice. Here is why:

    Qatar is a safe, clean and small country. I like small foreign countries :^) You tend to feel at home wherever you go. I feel safer here than pretty much everywhere else except back home.

    I love Qatar's multinational character. I meet people from all over the world. I don't necessarily have to get along with all these people, but I like the fact that they are here. I believe being multinational is one of Qatar's best features. My friends come from five different continents and it's quite amazing.

    I love that Qatar is a young country and that I can watch it grow at an unbelievable pace. I have the photographs of the Corniche of 4 years ago and I have a lot of fun comparing them with today's Corniche. People who know Doha will know what I am talking about ;-)

    Qatar ATP and WTA tournaments. As a tennis junkie I feel really blessed that I can go and watch the greatest players of the world play the greatest game in the world - for free. Incredible.

    Great experience career-wise. International corporation I work for looks great on my CV. Woot!

    Arabian horses that I even got a chance to ride. They are amazing. I love all the equestrian events in Qatar and I am glad I had an opportunity to take part in some of them, including the marathon.

    I like being exposed to local culture and traditions. Everything is so interesting! Yes so I might not agree with or understand it all, but it's so fascinating! I love Arabic food... I was thinking of putting the food in a separate category but I am on diet so I won't go ranting about the food - it'll make me hungry.

    Hotels and shopping malls. Yes I do like them. And I like the restaurants in the hotels, too. I also like being able to shop for absolutely everything under one roof. I love the service in the hotels and malls.

    I absolutely love the fact that I can afford certain luxuries which I couldn't afford back home. I don't have to do almost any housework here - it's such a blessing! I hate housework. It costs almost nothing to have your house cleaned and your clothes ironed. Paradise for a lazy cat!

    Qatar is very conveniently located. It's so close to everywhere! Travelling almost anywhere from Qatar is quite easy. Of course America and Australia are still far but hey, these places are far from absolutely everywhere! And Australia is definitely closer than it used to be, lol. I want to go there sometime soon.

    I love the weather in winter. From October to May the weather is fantastic. Summer heat is compensated by wonderful mild winters. I don't have any winter clothes anymore, yay! I hate rain and thankfully there isn't much of that here. I think last year it rained less than 5 times. Awesome.

    Our new forum, Qatar Blah Blah. I love it!

    Petrol in Qatar is cheaper than water. I love driving and I love my car, so cheap petrol comes handy. Cars are way more affordable here as well, great.

    I made a lot of friends here. Met a lot of great people. You know who you are. Qatar brought us together and for that I am grateful.

    My minion Penguin. He's Qatari so he reminded me that I have to put him on the list! <3


    To be continued... I still have to write about what I hate :P
    posted by Bravecat @ 6:20 pm  
    25 Comments:
    • At 01/10/2006, 00:15, Anonymous fish said…

      i would say that Qatar is definitely an acquired taste. it's not for everyone, but those who live in it tend to agree that it grows on them after a while. it's has a mysterious charm to it i guess...

       
    • At 01/10/2006, 00:48, Blogger AbbieOnFire said…

      YOU DON'T LOVE ME? *sob, sob*

      I am so still your minion, though.

       
    • At 01/10/2006, 09:40, Blogger clayfuture said…

      Don't think about moving to dubai! Everything is becoming expensive here. Soon they will charge us everytime we take a piss!!!

       
    • At 01/10/2006, 10:22, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Fish,

      You're right I guess. Qatar is definitely not a place for everyone. And so many things here drive me crazy! But I'll write about them later on.

      Abbie,

      Of course and I love you, silly penguin. You know I do. Will amend my post right now.
      :^)

      Clay,

      Dubai is cool for a weekend but I wouldn't want to live there. And I don't want Doha to turn into Dubai.

      In Europe you do have to pay to use a toilet in some places, ya know :P

       
    • At 01/10/2006, 12:54, Blogger ahmed said…

      I've been to dubai before..I got local friends whom experienced and lived the "old" Dubai..they said they feel that this new place is just fake! they do miss their old country..i wonder how about your Qatari friends, do they feel the same?

       
    • At 01/10/2006, 14:11, Blogger Dohagirl said…

      You forgot Le Notre lunches and me.

       
    • At 01/10/2006, 15:09, Blogger { 13 } said…

      giiiirrrrl..(9_9)!!..where do u gO in CocO town ..??.ok ..theres some places gOod or getting tO be gOod ..but mOst of it (****)!!....build Doha..!?...it toOk them 15 yrs to figure Out hOw to start..and it will take 15 yrs to finish :-0..and they do nOt wanna cOpy Dubai !!..they'r gOing fOr MonacO-ish style !!..u knOw shOwing the { Oil-Rich living } stereOtype :P

      PS: u need to have album fOr the develOp Doha pics :-P..cuz they keep change their mind..!...

       
    • At 01/10/2006, 19:55, Blogger 3anooda said…

      ive been to Doha for one night and I absolutely LOVED it. glad to say I experienced Le Notre and the shopping. so now when u talk, i can actually relate. i LOVE Le Notre. When I visit again, u guys have to take me there

       
    • At 01/10/2006, 23:16, Blogger Drima said…

      QatarCat, I hate you... You make me miss Qatar... Sigh! I really wanna go and visit for a holiday... It's been more than 9 years... I spent my whole childhood there you know.

       
    • At 02/10/2006, 09:30, Blogger [m]attâ„¢ said…

      Thats all well and good, but lets get to the real point ! Just like a bad news bite on CNN, we all want to know the bad news, and the negative, SO TELL US ALREADY !

      Haha, not like I don't know, there was plenty of negative when I lived in Dubai. Funny how I usually remember the positives more than the negatives.

       
    • At 02/10/2006, 09:56, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Ahmed,

      I also think that Dubai is fake. But maybe that's what makes Dubai - Dubai? It's definitely not an Arab country anymore, no matter what it's called.
      My Qatari friends are OK with their country, which thankfully so far remains an arab country despite the influx of all things modern. I like Qatar because it doesn't lose its character.

      Midge,

      Food and friends were mentioned already, but since you insist - yes one more thing I love about Qatar is being able to go to Le Notre with my best friend Midget :P

      13,

      Dear oh dear. I guess it sucks being a local girl in Qatar. I hear ya...

      3anooda,

      The sooner you come, the better. I miss Le Notre! :^)

      Drima,

      Yalla hate me, hate me. I know you don't, I know you can't, and you know it too :P

      Matt,

      Haha why do you think that the real point is what I hate about Qatar?? I already said I don't hate it, I love it! There are certain things I hate... and I'll write about them when I get enough love comments! :D
      Have you checked our forum yet??

       
    • At 02/10/2006, 16:56, Blogger Mise said…

      Hey QC...I've been to Qatar twice - when I transitted through the airport, so that doesn't count as a visit. A lot of people I know have moved there recently from the UAE purely for the money ... Having lived in Abu Dhabi for 13 years, I don't have much desire to move to a quieter or more restrictive environment ... I've got Dubai for weekend breaks if I want shopping, clubs and fabulous hotels, and Abu Dhabi for greenness and quieter roads...The main problem is that the UAE is becoming very expensive (greedy) and companies tight-fisted about improving salaries and conditions, hence the exodus to Qatar and beyond. A lot of Europeans are simply going back home.

      I'll be doing my own UAE loves and hates before I leave (for good?) at the end of November :-D

       
    • At 02/10/2006, 18:51, Blogger sarzoory said…

      hmmm... i'm waiting for ur next post haha i'm curious abt what u hate in Qater i!i!i ^_^

       
    • At 03/10/2006, 02:46, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      haha-
      thats a great list.
      you pretty much covered my basics- i suppose i should eventurally make my own "I {heart} Doha" list.

      Maybe when I finally get my ass down there?

       
    • At 03/10/2006, 14:02, Blogger Snooky said…

      This place would've been literally perfect if it werent for the nasty traffic and bitchy humid summer.

       
    • At 03/10/2006, 14:33, Blogger Reem said…

      I think generally, appreciating Qatar does not happen overnight. It happens gradually and at times can be challenging, but once you've adapted, Qatar is charming and comfortable...and can even be fun if you have the right group. I've learned to love it.

       
    • At 04/10/2006, 06:27, Blogger Zeze said…

      :) Now I actually want to live in Qatar! :D

       
    • At 04/10/2006, 09:39, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Mise,

      I like Abu Dhabi for its trees... I don't really like UAE but I envy the green. I miss it. Looking forward to your Love/Hate list, too :^)

      Sarzoory,

      Welcome to Life in Qatar :^) Come back soon, the Hate list is coming shortly.

      Chica,

      You better not plan to come here for Xmas because I won't be here!!

      Snook,

      I wish you saved your comment for my Hate list :^)

      Reem,

      You've learned to love it and now you're off again. Come back already.

      Zeze,

      Welcome :) Yes Qatar is great. Everyone should love it here, lol.

       
    • At 04/10/2006, 13:23, Blogger Twix said…

      I have to say Qatar Cat Im very touched. Its not everyday you hear expats saying nice things about ur country. I know it may not be the best of places to live in and its a far cry from perfect, but many expat find anytime of the day as a good time to complain just about everything !!

      I appricate the way u captured the lil things that make ppl love qatar. Though i may be qatari, myself find it very diffcult living here having lived all my life abroad, still i try to make the best of what little i have.

      Cant wait for ur hate list, sharpening my claws for the list ;)

       
    • At 04/10/2006, 17:54, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      haha

      oh oh

      where are you gonna be?

      and yup.

      a palm tree xmas it iill be.

       
    • At 04/10/2006, 19:16, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Twix,

      Yeah I know what you're talking about. I hear this whining and complaining too, and even I, a non Qatari, find it rather annoying. The Hate list is coming soon :P Of course I got plenty things for the list, as I would in any other country. Come back soon to check.

      Chica,

      NOOOOOO!!!! I am leaving on the 23rd. I'll be back around 8th January. You better make sure you're here before or after! I'm off home for a change. Haven't been home for Xmas the last 3 years. It's about time I had some good Xmas dinner! :D

       
    • At 06/10/2006, 01:57, Blogger 3anooda said…

      where is this hate list already??!!

      *tapping fingers impatiently*

       
    • At 06/10/2006, 13:31, Blogger 3anooda said…

      *showing off my new pic*

       
    • At 06/10/2006, 14:02, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      3anooda,

      Haha it's awesome!! Are you really like that??

      Hate list coming today :^)

       
    • At 06/10/2006, 14:57, Blogger Arabian Princess said…

      I seriously need to visit Qatar soon :p

      From what I hear, Qatar has develeoped greatly in the past few years .. its booming and its becoming on of the most attractive countries to work in.

       
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