Monday, March 3, 2008

We have been here too long...

The end of February marked 18 months of us living in Doha. I was talking to some friends about how things that astounded us when we first moved here are now considered normal and part of life. I started really thinking about it and came up with even more things, and I thought I would get them all down to share with you:

1. You are no longer surprised when someone blatantly goes to the start of the long line you are in and demands service.
2. When you are out driving, you expect someone to try and move into your's just normal behavior.
3. Roundabouts are no longer scary....and the fact that there are no rules to navigating them makes complete sense.
4. You are no longer surprised to see 3 men with a ladder come to change a light bulb or clean an air conditioner filter.
5. 90 degrees is now cool, and 50 is COLD!
6. Being stared at like you are some sort of alien doesn't faze you anymore (this one applies to females only).
7. Having your grocery bill total upwards of 700 (Riyals) is normal.
8. You say "same-same" to someone from a western country and they don't blink an eye.
9. Everything being closed on Fridays is no longer an imposition - it's just the way it is.
10. It is now normal to tell someone how to get somewhere using landmarks, not street names or numbers, as nothing here has a physical address.
11. You expect the guy behind you to blare his horn 2 milliseconds before the light turns green.
12. You are no longer shocked when you see sheep in the back of SUV's, sedans, and pickups.
13. You know what time it is when you hear the mosques during prayer time.
14. You know people that travel to Bahrain just to eat bacon and you get a little jealous.
15. You know that "Insha'allah" actually means "maybe, but probably not" (literal translation: God willing) and you accept it.
16. Staying up to watch a football game that comes on at midnight (3:00 pm in TX) is normal.
17. You see two men holding hands, touching noses, or kissing and it doesn't bother you.
18. You don't even try to hold hands with your spouse in public.
19. You say something is on "the other side of town" or "outside of town" when in fact it is only 10-15 minutes away.
20. When the grocery store has a new stock of macaroni and cheese, Bacardi margarita mix, or Dr. Pepper - you get excited and text message all of your friends!

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