How is Paul Doing?

We have a Friday/Saturday weekend here, so I have just finished my second week in Qatar, and my first week of classes. It is time to report in.

I like Qatar. It is very different from Saudi Arabia. This was driven home to me when my bags appeared at the carousel in record time. Then a woman stamped my passport. I was out of the (spotless, air-conditioned) airport in ten minutes.

Things are cleaner here. We have the same brown desert dust as Saudi Arabia, but there is no litter. The cars are smaller, newer and better-maintained. Also of course women drive here.

I got to my apartment and found it stocked with food and the internet up and running. Over a few days workmen changed bulbs and whatnot to bring the place up to snuff. I even got a vacuum cleaner. After week of paperwork and so on I got to the school. It is a mass of small buildings with open walkways between them. In the springtime it is ideal. I bet it is hell on earth in the summer. But, so far so good.

The delivered my car the other day. A small Lancer. Still it is free; you cannot touch that.

They assigned me a class, eight women I will work with for the next two months. Very bright young ladies, I have now actually taught to an Arab woman after twelve years in Saudi Arabia, imagine that. In any case, I suspect they are just letting me start off slowly.

Apparently, school goes into slow mode in July and August. I think I may be home then. (I will try to stick it out however. I need to get back into money-earning.)

While walking somewhere on the campus the other day, something (perhaps the time zones) snapped into place. I was remarkably at peace to be back in the region. Something familiar about the place. Still the difference from Saudi Arabia are striking. People here are happy in some way I cannot put my finger on. Why did I waste all that time in Saudi Arabia?

So in summary, I am doing well at the moment and am happy to be back at work. I hope to keep my nose clean and my head down at least until this recession is over.

Glad things are going well! It’s going to take a bit to get used to your new user name, though :slight_smile:

Congrats on the move back to the region (and to a much nicer part of the GCC, at that!). I am glad you feel happy with the move!

Congratuations, Paul! Clear up for some of us ignorant Merikans: How is the last word in your new user name properly pronounced? I heard “ka-TAR” in the past, but now I’m hearing “kutter.”

In Arabic, either is correct. In I use Guitar.

If you need to decorate your new place, there’s a special on used carpets this week.

Congrats on the move back. I miss living in the GCC, but at least get to travel back to the region for long periods. If you haven’t been there yet, there is a nice little outdoor restaurant at the opposite end of the Corniche from the Sheraton. It is right next to a small marina and a great place to go before it gets too hot which it is likely to do in the next few weeks. I’ll try to remember the name of it.