Its hard to believe I have already been living in Doha for 15 days. Time has passed so quickly since I stepped off the plane and into the extreme heat that still surprises me every time I go outside. It was a strange feeling flying away from home and knowing I wouldn’t be back to see friends or family until my Christmas break. However, when I got my first look at Doha from the window of the plane I felt nothing but excitement and I knew I had made the right choice. The city is everything I hoped it would be and more and the people are extremely friendly and welcoming.
I felt quite prepared for life in Doha due to my vast amount of reading and research, however, no amount of blog reading or googling can prepare you for the heat…When I stepped off the plane at 5pm local time it was still 39degrees and I felt as though I had stepped into a sauna. Luckily I was quickly on an air-conditioned bus and off to the arrivals terminal. I was walked through the airport and taken to a ‘lounge’ for a cup of tea whilst someone collected my bags and sorted my immigration papers – my first taste of Doha luxury! Once through immigration It was another coach ride to my hotel apartment which is amazing! I have a huge lounge/dining area, big kitchen, bedroom with the biggest bed i’ve ever seen in my life and 2 bathrooms all to myself (when G isn’t here)! I also have a pretty fantastic view…
The second night some of the current staff took us for food at Souq Waqif (read more about it here: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/qatar/doha/attractions/souq-waqif/a/poi-sig/451983/361125).
This was the first time I truly felt like I was in The Middle East. It was a shoes-off-sit-on-the-floor type restaurant serving Yemeni food and we simply asked them to bring us ‘enough to feed 15’. The food was delicious (The restaurant was Bandar Aden for those wondering). We even made it onto their Facebook page!
Since then I have tried to explore as many places as I can (some pictures below) whilst also going through the induction process at work (which included an x-ray and blood test to get my residency permit procedure started) and setting my classroom up ready for the start of term. I really couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to Doha and I can’t wait to explore further but for now, it’s time to get back to school. I will take pictures of my classroom tomorrow (before it descends into chaos!) and post them when I have chance.
Mall of Qatar
Back at the Souq
The Museum of Islamic Art
My new home.