Week one down and this life is suiting me. Stripped of my self-inflicted restrictions and societal imposed parameters, turns out I’m a different woman to the woman I thought I was. First off, I’m actually a girl, not a woman living on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Turns out I’m not a boring housewife after all, turns out, I don’t even feel the compulsion to start some thriving new little enterprise that I run from my kitchen, in between asking the kids Irish spelling and darning socks ( ok maybe going too far with the socks thing), you get my drift. Without all the trimmings and guidelines, I’m WELL.
I’m so re-invented I feel like Madonna, able to acclimatise to any situation like a chameleon, like a prism of light, sporting a different hue at every glance, ok, I’d kill for a bag of Tayto and rasher sandwich but otherwise, this is ok.
Home now is a 4 bed house. ( I’m a bit too Irish to be telling them at home that I’m living in a villa, considering that at home they’d expect it to be on an acre of manicured gardens with arches to the rear leading to the pool and not plonked in the middle of an Arabic housing area with only sand outside on the road and a shared pool with 10 others.) Setting up home from a Carrefour and several Indian furniture dealers is comic. The budgets were tight and every single Indian dealer was giving me “Conthract deescount”not “Nourmel Deescount”. Furniture list was L –Shaped sofa, I always wanted a coloured leather L-Shaped sofa, so 80’s, just reminds me of my relatives emigrating in the 80’s, when they’d send back photos of themselves with fancy peach l-Shaped sofas and glass coffee tables, meanwhile we were sitting at home on some kind of a brown sofa with wooden arms and flowery wallpaper watching, ad ‘s for Irish Water Safety, saying “Where’s Grandad”, he fell in the bloody pond, that’s where!
Driving in Qatar is like being in the queue at Starbucks on Time Square, you know you’re going to be stuck in the line for a while but by God, when they call, you better be ready. They’re arrogant and impatient just the way I like my fellow road-users, nerve-racking but stimulating, trick is, enter the roundabout on the inside, middle or outside lane and quickly nudge across traffic as best you can to get to exit. This can also be done by going straight to inside lane and swerving hastily to outside lane. They welcome u-turns and tip their hats to sudden stops.
Shopping is just like home but with Gucci and Bvlgari! The Monsoon here even had my new Dirty Dancing trousers from Monsoon, you know the ones that Jennifer Grey wears, not full length, but not cropped either, black, same style as jeans but lighter material, I was so disgusted, I really thought I was bringing something new to Qatar. Along with all the big shopping malls, there are oodles of small businesses, tailors, cobblers, shwarma makers, watchmakers, I’ve also been in the market area, called the “SOUQ” pronounced “suke” here you can hire a man and a wheelbarrow for 3 riyals, ( about 60c) When I thought it was only for the wheelbarrow I was interested, but even I wasn’t cold hearted enough to pay the poor devil to wheel my stuff around. The amazing thing is around the corner from this market is a 24hour Segafredo very chic and sophisticated.
Ever wonder where all the gold rimmed Ray-Bans went? Well, wonder no more, they’re all in Doha. Everywhere to been seen are men wearing their white dishdasha with the hijab on their head and yes, the Ray-Bans that have vanished from Ireland.
So, L-Shaped sofa in situ, cheap dinnerware washed, Honda hired, all in order.