Homeward bound!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

I am really, really, really bad at travelling.

Up until about 6 hours ago I had managed to not only lose my work VISA but also lose my flight confirmation, and up until an hour ago I didn't realise I needed to do an online check in and print my boarding pass.

Sometimes it amazes me that I manage to get by on a day to day basis, literally the blondest, scattiest person ever!

I'm currently sat in Doha International airport, far too early for my flight to England which doesn't take off for more than two hours (another scatty travel error of mine, not knowing how early to get to the airport). It's 04:25 and I haven't slept for fear of not waking up for my airport alarm and in the hope that for once in my life I might actually get some sleep on the plane. As I was en route to the airport, curled up in the back of my Audi A6 hotel car (120 riyals well spent, I don't remember the last time a Karwa car driver asked me if he was driving at the right speed for my comfort), I heard the call to prayer and mentally tried to picture whether there is a Mosque anywhere near the apartment I'm moving into next Tuesday (thankfully not, just an awesome pool and beach). Didn't envy the people staying in the hotel next door to that Mosque!

I spent my last night in Doha being treated to the delights of the Thai restaurant in the Grand Hyatt hotel, by Isis, the hotels sales manager. We had lemon & ginger tea (refilled constantly throughout the night), and I had an incredible berry mocktail that I'm kicking myself for not writing down the ingredients of. Isis ordered us the tasting menu which consisted of a huge selection of dishes from across the menu (more dishes came after I'd taken this picture)

The food was incredible, not surprising that iv been told by several reliable sources that its the best Thai in Doha!

After dinner I went home to pack (and flap about my lost documents for ages until finally finding them sensible filed away somewhere, crisis averted) before offloading all of my belongings on my poor boss Sara, including three towel elephants (hilarious watching her carrying these in the lift) which will take pride of place in my bathroom in the new apartment

And now here I am, bored out of my mind waiting for my check in desk to open, writing a sleepy rambling blog post.

Knowing my luck, il fall asleep and miss my flight anyway.


"Doha - if you buy the ticket, you take the ride"

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

I've now been in Doha for one month and eleven days, and it already feels like iv been here forever. Tomorrow morning I fly home to England for my big brothers wedding and then on Monday I hop on a plane back out to the desert to continue my Arabian adventures.

I've barely had any time at all to update my blog but when I get back its top priority, so much to write about but so little time!

A colleague of mine who has lived in Doha now for five years completely summed this place up for me - if you buy the ticket, you take the ride. It's so true. Doha is one crazy emotional rollercoaster. You can have one really amazing day out here where you look around you and know that taking the leap to come out here was the right decision and that its going to be the best adventure of your life. Then the very next day, something will happen that makes you question why you ever left the comfort of your Hertfordshire home, and leaves you craving a cosy Sunday in bed with your cat (or maybe that last bit is just me...)

I know every job you do, and every place you live has its ups and downs, but I guess here everything seems magnified because you are thousands of miles away from your family and friends. I'm lucky in that I'm surrounded by friends here, but if I'm on a downer sometimes the people you really need to speak to are the people who have known you all your life, the ones who know you inside out, know exactly how you are feeling and what's happened in your life to make you feel that way.

That's how I felt last night, and after finishing a 13 hour day at work I collapsed on my hotel bed and face timed one of my very best friends for a catch up. Just seeing and hearing a familiar face/voice helped no end, and after the call I felt better and cracked on with my packing (trying to squeeze two suitcases worth of clothes into one so I can take an empty case home is mission impossible!)

Last day at work today - I know il have a million and one emails to catch up on when I land next Monday, amazing how much you can miss after just five days away!

I'm hoping being at home, surrounded by my nearest and dearest and my animals won't make me refuse to fly back to Doha...I know deep down that I want to carry on the adventure, despite how hard it seems at times, so hopefully come Monday ill be boarding that plane in the knowledge that when I land, I can start making a life for myself in Qatar. Il start my residency process, become permanent staff, and be moving into my shiny new apartment overlooking Doha city with two great girl friends. Let the adventure begin!