Monday, August 30, 2010

Debits and Credits

Another milestone in our settling here in happy Doha: a bank account. I don't have my papers yet (or an income to deposit) (yet!) so my husband sets up a joint banking account. Cool, right? Cool indeed. Husband sets up account with the Royal Bank of Qatar (I am sure that's what it is called) hands me my bank card and we go on our merry way.

La la la. We live our life. It's Ramadan and there's not a whole lot going on. It's 41C outside (52C if you factor in the humidity) so my options are limited. I live across the street from a mall. It has air conditioning and people to watch, so I often trundle over there and do a cruise through. Sometimes I'll buy a few things and wander around until the time difference does it's magic and it's early enough to call friends and family back home. And countless times through the day I, of course, call my loving husband at work. You know, just to say hi and touch base.

Husband: "Hey how's your day going?"

Holder of joint bank account card: "Great! I went to the mall to get a few things and I also withdrew some money from the atm."

Husband: "Yeah, I know."

HOJBAC: "What do you mean you 'know'?"

Husband: "I get a text message every time you use the card."

Er, excuse me? The bank TEXT MESSAGES my husband any time I use OUR money.




Do I get a text message when HE uses the card? Uh, yeah. I didn't think so.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Like Miami...but without the fun

We're back in Doha -- three months to the day. And surprisingly, I am happy to be back. Seriously. I had a great summer (back blog to come) and did a great deal. But there is something to be said about having your stuff around you and sleeping in your own bed. Could it be that I'm not an incurable gypsy after all? hmm....lets not get crasy. Gimme a week here and we'll talk. For now I'm just glad to be home.

Which brings me to the latest thrill in my life: our new home. My fabulous husband found us an amazing apartment while I was gone. I absolutely love it. It's bright and airy with a killer view. From our window the blue sky meets the turquoise waters of the Gulf, framed by a long stretch of sandy beach (that we cannot access cos it belongs to the embassies). The only major thing to get in the way of this view is a pretty attractive blue and white sky scraper which is completely empty (kind of the story of most of the new towers around here) and which ends up shielding us from the early morning sun and allowing us to sleep a little longer: so thanks for that. I can spend a lot of time just staring out our window at the twinkling blue waters that are only disrupted by occasional jet skiers and police boats. It's Ramadan so things are pretty quiet -- unlike Cairo, I often look out the window to see the roads completely empty in every direction. And as I mentioned, since the beach is off limits, we barely see any activity down there. So it's all surprisingly serene and oddly unspoiled. The water is beautiful and the combination of the clear blue sky and this sandy wisp of a sand dune/ island in the middle of it all makes it quite a sight. Who knows, maybe it's just my mad jet lag but I thought I would write this as I feel it now at the beginning of our life here in Doha. It's certainly not Miami by any stretch of the imagination but if I just stare at the sand and the sea, I can appreciate the natural beauty of the place and let my imagination take me where it will....