Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh my!

This week for PYP we are inquiring about families and how they shape who we are. One of the students learning experiences today was to indicate how many of each family member lives in their home. After looking at one of my students profiles, I noticed that she indicated that there were 6 pets in her home.  I asked her to explain, for which she unemotionally answered, “I have 1 cat and another cat, 2 fish, a bird and a tiger.”  So imagine the look on my face as I asked her to repeat that last part. She then repeated it and said, “yes, a baby tiger!”

Apparently many families here in Qatar purchase wild animals as pets, so much that Dohanews came out, in 2015, with a warning against keeping baboons as pets.  This came after several reports of  increasing number of attacks by baboons on people.

I hope we won’t be expected to have a bring your pet to school day.


Brunch is a big deal here in Qatar. On Friday afternoons, hotel restaurants are all Abuzz with cheerful people drinking without limits and eating til they’re stomachs can take no more.

Hubby and I indulged Last Friday thanks to the teacher social I attended last month where I won Brunch at TRADER VICs for two. It was really good and I was thoroughly entertained by everyone enjoying themselves.  The food was really good too. I only wish there were vegetarian options. I had to pick thru almost everything. Here are pictures.

You get all of this on this menu as many times as you want. And they serve you. It’s not a buffet. Good, because I don’t fancy buffets.This was Darryl’s face when he ordered one drink but they brought him 4. LMAO!

And on the 36th day of Qatar…

…I got paid.  And, it was everything that they promised with the exception of some of my shipping allowance which I will receive once Darryl and Zamir have their RP’s.  Btw this should be within the next few days.  They have had their doctor exams done as well as their fingerprinting.  This is great because everyone will have their ID’s.  This is bad because it also means Darryl will be leaving me soon.  I’ve also received almost everything I was waiting for, except for my license to purchase liquor.  I feel much better now.

Driving here is a nightmare.  I think I’ve mentioned that before, but it is worth mentioning again.  I think I hated driving in the states, well there is no comparison to here. Traffic is horrendous and it is all day except Friday mornings, prayer day (sort of like Sunday mornings in the States).  But many things are closed at that time as well so it defeats the purpose of no traffic.

Speaking of driving, the bank, QNB, is driving me crazy.  I have been locked out of my online banking for over a week and I am unable to transfer money to my American accounts, so I can’t pay my American bills.  It is extremely frustrating.  In American, you can call the bank and they will reset your account, no problem but this is Qatar.  In order to transfer any money, I have to go into a specific branch within The Mall (that is the name of this mall).  I went there, took a number, A12, they were on A01.  I walked around The Mall and went back 15 minutes later and they were still on A01.  Needless to say I left.  You have to go into another branch to pick up a bank card.  And still another branch for…. Well you get the picture.  They can’t even make the transfer for me over the phone.  They really need to improve the banking customer service here.  They told me they have up to 3 working business day to fix the problem.  Tomorrow is day 3.  Fingers crossed.

Anyway, work is good.  I still spend time lesson planning, but most of it is occurs at school. No staying late at school or up all night planning.  Most of my kids are GREAT too!  My parents seem nice and responsive as well.  My coworkers are great.  I even went to Zumba with a few of them last night.

Here are a few things I find funny here:

  • people running across the street like their life depends on it.  (it does) It reminds of me of the old Atari game ‘Frogger’
  • students wearing jackets and sweaters outside to recess (it’s like 200 degrees)
  • I haven’t lost my voice yet.  I don’t do much screaming and I always lost my voice within the first month of teaching.
  • I haven’t been sick either (with the exception of a 24 hour sinus bug) I always got sick teaching stateside
  • An old friend of mine sent me a care package and paid more for the shipping than the contents.  She paid almost $200.00 for shipping. Thanks Theresa Kelly!
  • Sometimes friends will have your back better than family
  • You can wear white all year here.
  • People leave their cars running and unlocked while they shop in the supermarket 
  • 90F is cool to me.
  • And the ultimate funny thing: It’s cold in Philly but I’m still sleeping with the AC on.