So while things in Doha may seem exotic and different, many things are similar to our life back in Pittsburgh.
For example, last night, we went to a friends house to play Rock Band, and sang fun American songs. Our friend has ordered the Beatles Rock Band, and so there will be more Rock Band nights to follow! We had falafel for dinner, drank soda, and snacked on chocolate candy bars.
When we are at the mall, I realize the biggest difference is the scenery, with numerous Muslim men in thobes, and Muslim women in their abayas. You also see women in saris, and then the Ex-pats in regular old clothes. There are many of the same stores here – Starbucks (2 of them!), H&M, Sephora, Gap, Nine West, Aldo, etc.
At the grocery store, I can still find things like pasta, tomato sauce, and lots of basics for food that I like to make for dinner. We just had tacos last week! Traffic is crazy and there are plenty of crazy drivers out there to rival Pgh drivers! (Although no Pgh lefts!)
We have friends over for movies, eat popcorn, pizza and soda for a fun night in. I think it is these similarities that are helping Dave and I to adjust so quickly!
Of course, there are some differences. For one, we are in the desert and it is HOT out!
While the mall may be the same, obviously the currency is different, and everything is labeled in both Arabic and English. And we are constantly trying to figure out what Qatar rials equals in dollars, to see if it is a good deal!
Um, No bacon. Nuf said! Also, no alcohol – at least until we get our alcohol permit!
No Steelers football 😦 The only exception here is that our friend has a Slingbox, so we will be able to watch it!
Roundabouts are a normal part of driving here, and they do take some time to get used to! It is just a matter of figuring out how to navigate it, and then you are entering and exiting rounabouts like a native Qatari!
These similarities and differences have been interesting to observe over the past month, and I am curious to see how many other things will seem similar to our life back in Pittsburgh as time goes on.