After an evening of jet-lagged musical beds we awoke to our first morning in Doha. Our hotel suite would normally be enormous but with 4 children and 20 suitcases (the beagle is at the kennel) it has the feel of luxury camping. The hotel has very kindly upgraded us to a suite so we have a dining table that seats 8, a lounge area that has been converted to a dorm room for the children, a kitchen, and in the adjoining room G and I have a king size room with a bed the size of Texas .....I KNOW!!! It's lovely and they will be dragging me out of here next month.
The children have quickly become experts at living the "Suite Life" and are living in a dream world of buffet's, butlers and bidets. I mention the bidet as it has become a place of fascination for the 4th little traveler. "What does it do?""How does it work?" "Can we use it?"
My head was in the bottom of a suitcase when I heard number 3 yell out "Mummy come quick, he's doing a wee in the butt washer". Squeals of delight from the girls who then raced to get prime positions to watch.
After the bidet action we were collected by Mr Talib, who works with G's company. We knew we were going to get "something" done towards our residents permits but we were a little hazy on the details. Mr Talib was dressed in the traditional dishdasha and was more than happy to answer any questions the children had. He explained the different ways the head wear is worn, that the Qatari men wear theirs differently to the Saudi men. Mr Talib could not have done more for the children and made a point of telling me several times that the difference between Qatar and other surrounding countries is Qatar is a family country and "we love families". Gauging from the attention we're getting at the hotel I believe him!
We arrived at a photography store and were ushered to the back of the building for passport photos. After lining up one by one with our cheesy grins Mr Talib insisted the children have a group photo taken. Suddenly the backdrop changed and the children were in front of a mystical Arabian scene (the other option was what looked like an English palace?). While we waited for the shots to be developed the children and I went for a walk down the street. It was about 5 in the afternoon and the sun was just beginning to set, the sky was a beautiful mix of orange and blue and the call to prayer from the mosque began, it was beautiful. The street was busy and you could feel the excitement of Eid al Adah on it's way. As people of all colours, shapes, sizes and religions walked by us there was one common reaction. A smile at the children.
Next stop was blood samples. As you can imagine the children were really impressed with a surprise blood sample thrown in to the afternoon. Little traveler 2 had quite a bit to say about the process but she's moved on now. I don't think the people at the blood clinic will forget her in a hurry.
As I put the children to bed I asked how everyone is feeling about the move. The first little traveler said "people here are super friendly", the second "I like the buffet and the pool but I don't like blood tests", the third "it's cool, I'm gunna buy a cherry red Ferrari" number 4 "Can I try the bidet".