Our five year adventure in Doha, Qatarended June 1, 2012, but the memories will always remain. It's back to Texas where I have decided...Qatar isn't cornering the market on "quirky", as I once believed. Thanks for opening my eyes to the world,Doha!
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Hurry up and wait
Let's see, where to begin? Remember me mentioning not leaving the Post Office without my residence permit. Well, I lied. I'm not sure where I left off on that story, but when I made my 3rd trip (all numbered tickets had already been given out on my first two visits) I was successful and got to "pick a number". Yea, #10!! After waiting an hour, #10 started flashing on the screen...my turn. I presented my paperwork, photos, passport, etc & was asked where my sponsor was, because he had not signed the application. Yes, I had forgotten to get David to sign it and I had been told to do so. Unfreakin' believable (pardon my French). So on Monday night while the Texans were actually being shown live here in Qatar, David & I were parked at the Post Office from 7:45pm to 10:45pm. I was the 23rd person in line, the last person to be issued a number. There were probably 30 people behind me that got sent home. The good news was that I actually left the there with my permit attached in my passport, the bad news, my international driver's license is invalid four days after issuance of residence permit. So, it's off to the driver's license bureau in the morning. Oh my, I felt like I was in a 3rd world country...Tiajuana comes to mind. You slip the guy a few Riyals in this little seedy office and he types up your license application for you in the required Arabic. Remember the old Royal MANUAL typewriters. Yep, that's what he was using. I'm exaggerating about the brand, but not about the one finger pecking manual part. After that was done, we were ushered to a room that had several hundred people in it already...you guessed it, pick a number. After three hours of waiting, the agent looks over my paperwork and tells me to go get our eyes examined. Fine and dandy, but they closed that department at noon as everything else does during Ramadan. Come back tomorrow. Okay, well that's today. Rise & shine and out the door at 7:30am. It's our lucky day, we (me & Kim, another Chevron wife) are women and we get to bypass the 200 or so men that are already in line to get their eyes tested. Don't ask why, I have no idea. Now, it's back downstairs to pick a number. After three hours of waiting there, my turn, again. I'm told by the agent that my eye test results have not been entered into the computer, therefore I must go back to that office and tell them to enter it. Can you say, "telephone". Being the obedient expatriate that I am, I go back upstairs only to find that the doors have been locked. I banged on the doors and the guard hollers through the glass that I have to come back this afternoon. Obedience out the window. "Excuse me sir, I have been here all morning and I am not leaving!" The good thing about the people over here is that they truly do not like confrontation and he definitely felt one coming on and promptly open the door for me. Not missing a beat I made it back through the maze to the eye test area. As usual, scores of men were standing outside that office, packed in like sardines. I've waited in all the lines that I'm going to today. "Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, excuse me", I was saying as everyone parted like the Red Sea. I marched & I mean marched to the front of the line to get this squared away. The technician, in broken English, mentioned something about me coming back tomorrow. HOMEY DON'T THINK SO were the words bouncing in my head & obviously emanating from my expression. Long, long story made short, I walked out of there with my Qatari driver's license in hand shortly after noon. Only in Qatar.