The Dark Side of Expat Life and the Bright Side of Qatar

So okay maybe “Dark Side” is a little harsh.. maybe the “Down Side” is better.

Something happened to us this week that everyone warned us about from the day we arrived in Qatar but I have been in denial of ever since. It’s like how you know that eventually you will die but until that day comes, you literally feel invincible… or is that just me?

One morning this week, I fumbled with my alarm until it finally shut off and then rolled over to say good morning to Zach only to see that he was already half propped up and was staring squarely at me. “I have news” he stated, “Do you want me to go ahead and tell you now?” Even with my brain still half asleep, my mind began to swirl with a thousand ideas of what his news could be–so before I let the ideas scare me with the possibility of something terrible, I urged him to go on. “Firas and Myriam…” our two first and best friends in Doha (see them here here), “are moving to Australia”.

I dropped onto my back, stared up and tried to wrap my mind around it. What an incredible adventure for them, matched with impeccable timing but as for us, they would certainly leave a hole.

It is so weird being on this side of the situation. The “left behind”. I mean, we have been the ones doing the leaving in every situation of life so far.

  • Left home to go to college
  • Left college to work in Houston
  • Left Houston for Doha  (here)

Now all of a sudden we are tasting the bitterness of a move. Being the movER is definitely the sweeter side of the equation.

So here’s to you Firas and Myriam. You have been incredible friends to us and we truly wish you all the best— of course, we also wish the airport would flood and shutdown again  so that you would be forced to stay here with us for a little while longer. 😉

F anad M

Okay, now that we can wipe away the tears of seeing good friends go, I want to finish with a bright side because this is one thousand joys after all!!

This week, we got to do something EXTRA special that I think is a once in a lifetime experience that you can ONLY experience from Qatar (or a baby country like Qatar).

Let me explain, Qatar is extremely unique in that is small, like TINY. I am talking Rhode Island kind of small but the COOL THING is that although the country is just a little nubbin,  some BIG NAMES as far as the athletes and artists (music) stop in. Zach and I got our first taste of it this past weekend when we got to see the tennis giants Rafael NADAL (#5 in the world) and Novak DJOKOVIC (#1 in the world) battle for the Qatar ExxonMobil Open title. Yeah I know, who cares you can see tennis tournaments everywhere, BUT you CANNOT see them SO close up for SO cheap. Since lots of events happen every weekend (and everyone who lives here is always traveling) the events in Qatar are normally pretty empty so you can score incredible seats. Not only that but the PRICES ARE CRAZY. We got to see the the BEST TENNIS ATHLETES IN THE WORLD for the whopping price of $18. Boom. The average US Open ticket goes for an average of $373.82. Let me just say, it was a TREAT.

Qatar Open

Looking forward to turning our gaze to the most elite golfers in the world later this month when we volunteer for the Qatar Masters (a leg of the European Golf Tour) and the best race horses in the world at the Emir’s Sword, Qatar’s richest horse race.

Qatar Masters

 

This week, the highs are high and the lows…. Well, from an unselfish standpoint, the lows are pretty dag-on high too!

(this post was written January 2016)

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