I'm back from Qatar!

Monday, November 25, 2013

I'm back from Qatar!



Hello lovely ladies!

I am happy to report that I am back in Cape Town after living and working for a month in Qatar. I had an amazing time while living in the Middle East. I have seen and experienced things that I never ever thought I would do in my life time such as riding on a camel and going 4x4 dune racing in the desert. I give God all the praise for granting me these awesome opportunities. I lived in the capital city Doha doing children's theatre shows there at the Al Rayyan theatre and having a little holiday too. If you have been following me on Instagram (divadesle) you would have seen all my crazy travelling adventures. I will be sharing them with you in upcoming posts on the blog.



Me and the cast at Abu Dhabi airport

My first time travelling to Qatar wasn't smooth sailing as I was stuck in Abu Dhabi airport along with my friend Toni for 9 hours as they didn't approve of our visas. After flying all night and only having two hours of sleep, being stuck in an airport for another 9 hours does something to ones sanity, let me tell you! Thankfully the airline was kind enough to put us in a VIP lounge where we could get some sleep, eat and freshen up while we waited for our next flight to Doha, Qatar. 

Doha harbour with fishing boats and the city skyscrapers in the background.

 Once in Doha, I settled in fairly quickly as work was looming over my shoulder and we had to perform in two days. So my first week in Qatar was all crazy and rushed. Being in a new country did have its challenges though. There were certain things that I definitely had to get used to real fast... 

Things I had to get used to in Doha, Qatar:
 
1. The Intense Heat
  Once I stepped off the plane and arrived in Doha the hot air hit me in the face like a ton of bricks. I have never experienced such intense heat and dense air in all my life. At first I felt like I was struggling to breathe because all I felt was hot air filling up my lungs. One day me and my group decided to take a walk and explore the city during the day. Big mistake! What were we thinking?! Walking in that heat nearly scorched me to death and the rest of my friends were drenched in sweat. Nevertheless we decided scrap the walking and take a taxi for the rest of the trip. The heat and stuffy air is definitely something that takes time getting used to.


2. The constant traffic Jams and crazy driving
 Doha is a busy city with traffic jams that never seems to end. When I first arrived in Doha and was escorted to my hotel I was shocked at the crazy traffic and thought I might just lose my life on the first night as people drive like maniacs there. What was supposed to be a 15minute trip with a car slowly turned into a half an hour bumper to bumper traffic jam. I slowly started to get used to the insane traffic as time went on and would sometimes be alarmed if there wasn't much traffic on the road at certain points.


3. The booming night life
 When I say booming night life I am not talking about night clubs and bars. I am talking about everybody coming out to shop, eat and socialise after 7pm. In South Africa during the week people are usually at home relaxing after a long day of work and winding down. Not in Doha! Everybody comes out to play at night in Qatar. Shops usually close from 13:00 and open up again at 16:00. At night the streets and malls are filled with people walking around doing their daily shopping, eating at restaurants and socialising.


4. Decorum when it comes to women and men interactions
 Interactions between men and women in Qatar are very different to the western culture. I had to learn very quickly what is considered good conduct and etiquette when it comes to interacting with someone from the opposite sex on a daily bases. It was hard at first and I found myself shy away and not be my bubbly self as I didn't want to offend anyone or be considered forward or rude.

5. Dress code
Dress code in Qatar for a foreign woman are shoulders and knees covered. You can wear whatever you want as long as these parts of the body are not seen. What a mission it was to find summer clothes that coverd my knees and shoulders here in South Africa to take to Qatar. Nevertheless I improvised and got used to wearing clothes that covered up. I found myself raising an eyebrow in a ''how could she'' way, when I would see women show a little knee in the street. Haha, it's amazing how you can adapt and get used to some things in such a small space of time:-)


Traditional shopping area called Souq Waqif


I have many stories to share with you about my Qatar experience so stay tuned to the blog. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has supported me on my journey and to all the lovely ladies who continued to read my blog and comment. Thank you so very much. I really appreciate it.

Much love! XXX



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24 comments

  1. sounds like an experience you had.

    http://msvanvee.blogspot.com
    xoxo.

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    1. It was an amazing experience Vhutali :-)

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  2. A very fascinating post. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts on Qatar. I really like the picture of the Souq Waqif, it reminds of Venice. :D

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    1. The famous Villagio mall in Qatar is also themed on Venice. Very beautiful! Thanks for reading Saundre:-)

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  3. Sounds like you had a blast! Can't wait to hear more travel stories. Enjoyed your instagram photos .

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    1. Thanks Lynette1 I really had a fab time. XXXX

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  4. What an adventure Desle! Despite it all, it was a wonderful learning experience. I love learning about other cultures. I know you had a great time and those experiences will always be with you. Can't wait to hear more about them. Have a great week.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. Thank you Kim. I will cherish my travelling experiences forever! I definitely learned a whole lot. Thanks for reading. Xoxo

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  5. You're back already. Wow this month flew past. Looking forward to reading the rest of your adventures.

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    1. I know! A month flies by so fast. I want to go back again next year. That is for sure:-)

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  6. Looks like you had a wonderful time! Im flying in exactly a month and your Instagram account really got me all excited!
    Dubai and AbuDhabi here I come!

    Welcome Back Home! I know there’s no place like home :-D

    Rushda xx

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    1. Awesome Rushda! You are going to have an amazing time! I am so excited for you;-)))

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  7. Welcome back Desle! Sounds like you had an amazing time. This whole post and your instagram feed made me very nostalgic. I miss the shopping!!! I certainly don't miss the heat and traffic though (it's crazy!) ;)

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    1. The heat and traffic is so crazy. I definitely miss the shopping too:-) XXX

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  8. Welcome back sweety, it must have been one amazing adventure! I love the night life in the middle east, it never ends and they are so many fabulous places to dine at. Its also great that you adapted so well to the culture

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    1. Yes, the restaurants in Qatar are really great. I loved eating out and enjoying the nightlife. XXX

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  9. Welcome back missy! I would also battle with the cover shoulders and knees in that type of heat! Looking forward to hearing more about it - can't believe how quickly the month went!
    x

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    1. Thank you Natalie!! Lots of hugs. XXX

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  10. Wow, I loved reading this... Having a giggle about the lady that showed a little knee. Can't wait for more blog-posts like these. Welcome back. :) xo

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    1. Hehehe, Thank you so much Victoria! Mwha XXXX

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  11. u r sooo lucky! Would love to go to Qatar!
    xoxo

    Novelstyle

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    1. You would love it Ileana. So many awesome places to shop:-)))

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  12. We have been to Doha and Abu Dhabi and loved Abu Dhabi SO much......must try Dubai sometime too.....glad u had the chance to experience something different, hope u still travel to many more exciting places x

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    1. I would love to travel to Abu Dhabi and explore the city a little more. Thank you so much Tracy! Xxx

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Thank you for your comment:-)