Monday, June 6, 2011

We Made It!

But before we get to that--I was moved by Mr. Peanut.

True fact.

The leader of the crew who packed away my life in boxes was named Mr. J. Peanut. And a lovely legume he was too. Seriously, he and his team did a great job.  They even carried my suitcases to the car for me.  What more could you ask?

That was on Friday of Memorial Day weekend.  After two nights spent at area motels, I flew out Sunday night.  Let me tell you--Qatar Airways' business class is enough to make anyone believe they're a rock star.  It's luxurious in the extreme, and my flight's crew couldn't be faulted when it came to friendly service.

We took off just before 11:00pm.  I settled in to watch a movie before getting comfy (the seat flattened out into a bed) and catching a whole bunch of zees.  I woke up about two hours before we set down in Doha (at 6:30pm, Doha time).  I had just enough time to eat something and freshen up before the 'fasten your seatbelt' sign came on. The 13 hour flight felt like it took a fraction of the time.

Pick-up at the airport went off without a hitch.  My friend from Georgetown-DC, Charmagne, has been helping out over here for the last few months.  She met my flight and escorted me to my new digs.  They are, in a word, palatial--the floors are marble, the counters are granite, the ceiling have got to be 10 or 12 feet high.  Quite a change from my cozy little Baltimore cottage.

Compounds are the norm for western ex-pats in Qatar.  Mine, Al Samrya Gardens, is very nice.  It's got a pool, a gym, a clubhouse, a salon offering massages and nails (and, apparently, reflexology--I haven't actually checked it out yet, but there's a large reflexology display out front) and a mini-mart. You really don't need to venture outside for much--which I suspect is by design.  If I've learned nothing else since moving here it's that Doha doesn't have what you'd call a walking culture.

Here are some pics of my apartment.  I've got three bedrooms and two baths, which of course means I don't need to share with Oliver and Dudley.  I have it on good authority they are relieved.  There aren't any pictures on the walls or rugs on the floor.  But I have a flat screen TV and wireless internet.  That's got to count for something.

The view from the bedrooms

 The kitchen

Master bedroom

 The larger guest bedroom

 And the smaller guest room

 Guest bathroom
(Which is a more interesting picture than the master bath--they're basically the same except for the nifty shower here rather than a tub with floral shower curtain) 

Ollie and Dud arrived safe and sound late Wednesday night. Dudley wasn't daunted at all by his cross-Atlantic venture. Oliver seemed like he might have dropped some weight, but he's been bouncing back beautifully. We take quick walks in the morning and after work, but take our time and tour the compound just before bed. It's cooler that way.

Yes, it's hot.  I believe it got up to 111 degrees today.  But you don't really notice it that much.  You tend to dash from air conditioning into more air conditioning.  We've got a very generous walled back patio; Oliver is desperate to go outside and play in it.  I keep telling him, "Wait until the Fall.  I hear it's lovely around here starting mid-October."  I'm not sure he's buying that.

So far so good. I've got lots more to share. But that will have to wait for my next post.  This one has run long enough already.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That's quite a place! Glad you, Oliver and Dudley made it there safe and sound. Let the adventure begin!