Settling In

ARabbanOriginal Post: September 13, 2014

I’ve been in Doha for nearly 2 weeks and I’ve settled in comfortably. Surprisingly, it feels like home. At the end of my Sunday – Thursday workweek, I felt like I’d already completed two full weeks of work. It was weird. The week went by exceptionally fast. I think starting the workweek on Sunday fools the brain.

My last post, I said I would mention some of the amenities/services/niceties that are routine here that I could really get used to. So here it goes…

  • I live in a high-rise apartment building (so there are many residents) and from day one, each person working here greets me by name: Ms. Kendra.
  • There’s always a person at the elevator to call it for you.
  • They will help you unload your car and take your items upstairs for you.
  • They will schedule or call a taxi if I need one.
  • While there is a small washer and dryer in the apartment, I wouldn’t put any of my good clothes in there. So they offer laundry and dry cleaning services for nearly nothing.
  • When I went to retrieve my clothes for the first time, the gentleman knew exactly who I was and in which apartment I live.
  • When you go to the mall or other big places like Ikea, there are parking lot attendants who will wash your car while you shop for $4!
  • At work and at the higher end stores, there’s a beverage attendant. This person will get to know your beverage of choice and will have it ready for you without even asking. At work, I have coffee in the mornings and tea in the afternoons. It’s quite lovely.
  • Public restrooms are always clean because they have a restroom attendant all the time that makes sure it stays clean.

Some of the things are really small things. However, it’s amazing to experience these things. I really appreciate all they do.

The malls are awesome. I’m really close to City Center mall. I’ve learned that it’s not a great place to shop for clothes. While it’s a huge mall, they have few clothing stores.  Landmark Mall is a great mall and is more like malls in the US. I actually found clothes there. It was nice to have an H&M – and I’m not a size 4 over here. There’s a store called Zara that I really like as well.

I also experienced Villaggio Mall. It’s probably the most beautiful mall I’ve seen. You must click on the link to view. My own pictures wouldn’t do it justice. They have a high-end section that includes: Louis Vuiton, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, Burberry, etc. It’s nice to just go look at all the beautiful things.

Dining out is easy to do here and I’ve had a chance to dine out a few times. I’ve been astonished at the quality and taste of the food here. There hasn’t been a single time that I’ve been disappointed. Dinner at the W Hotel Doha was amazing (the hotel is beautiful!). I started with crispy calamari. It was perfectly prepared and actually had good flavor. My entrée was salmon on mashed potatoes topped with snap peas and a side of asparagus. It was the best salmon I’ve ever had, hands down. I finished with a small cheesecake with raspberry toppings. Excellent.

I’ve done a few other things since I’ve been here and will update my blog again soon.

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