Friday, March 21, 2008

Arab Hospitality

We have learned, in our short time here, that the Arab idea of hospitality is to tell you whatever you want to hear, even if they have to outright lie. Then, they don't understand why we're so upset when what they told us turns out to not be true. For example, when we were looking at these new apartments, we were told that the babysitting services were complimentary. Then, soon after we moved in, we found out that it actually costs 20 Riyal an hour (about $5.50.) Not too bad, but it adds up. Another example, we moved in with the idea that in two weeks we would be moving to the newest tower so that we could be in an apartment with curtain wall windows. Well, at the end of two weeks, Brad went down to talk to them and now it will be at least 6 more weeks before we can move in. In the meantime, people who don't care about the Internet being up and all the other little glitches that need to be fixed, are moving in to those apartments. So, we might not be able to move afterall.

So, what I have learned, in my short time here, is to enjoy what I have. I control my expectations, so that when someone does something that they say they will, it's icing on the cake. This apartment is one hundred times better than our last place. I plan to enjoy it. If we happen to move to an apartment with better windows, that would be wonderful. If not, I like it here. :) To prove my point, here is a side-by-side comparison of the views from my last apartment and the views from this apartment.

The building under construction across the street at the old apartment. If I spoke Arabic, I could have told you what they talked about all day long.
The building under construction across the street at the new apartment. We hardly ever hear any noises from them.

The "skyline" view at our old apartment.

The part of the Doha skyline that we see out our window now. Every building in this part of town has something cool about its design. And, it's beautiful at night. The darker blue near the base of the buildings is the bay. So, we have a little bit of a bay view, too.


Lori - The Simple Life at Home said...

Ah, yes, the Arab habit of telling you whatever you want to hear. I know it well. My mother-in-law once promised to teach my daughter how to knit. Emily was about 9, I'd say. I was so excited, went out and got yarn and knitting needles and everything.

When I brought everything to my mil, she said, oh, I can't teach her how to knit, she's too young. I was so upset. She does stuff like that all the time. My father in law is better about it. Thankfully, my husband seems to not have that problem, because it would be a serious issue.

Hey, I love your new view though!! Very pretty!

Anonymous said...

How was the Easter service today, on Good Friday? Dad bought a new car today--traded in the old high-mileage, pock-marked Vibe for a little tiny Toyota Yaris. It will be worth giving up a little space in the car for the savings in gasoline. It is supposed to get 40 mpg on the highway and 34 mpg in the city. It's white.
Grandma Cindy