Friday, 15 February 2008

Doha contd

In the past week I have had to be xrayed ( in a crumpled gown), finger printed and had a very brutal blood test which left me with a swollen arm. This was all done by government agencies here in order for me to be able to live and work in this country. In each case I was in waiting rooms with groups of women from all over the world. It seems that we have joined a team of people from everywhere- drawn here for the working opportunities from maids to business executives. It is still amazing to me to be amongst this crowd! The population of Qatar I find is made up of 20% Qatari people and 80% other nationalities - which makes for an interesting phenomenon. Qatari people born here are fully protected by their government and I believe are paid an income from the day they are born. This means that there are some very wealthy Qatari families here and explains why there are so many ritzy cars around! I also find out that the population has grown rapidly in the past year even- from 800,000 last year to over a million this year. I do hope that the roads and all the infrastructures keep up. 
As soon as the government has approved of me being here I will be issued with a resident card, my health care card and I can apply for my licence. I am not at all sure about driving here though- at busy times it is very hairy with everyone making their own way through roundabouts and with roadworks causing sudden closures of roads you thought were there, and new roads appearing suddenly that are not on any maps. I have worked out that I can book a taxi if I call the day before and make a time. This might be my surest way of getting to where I need to go in the meantime.

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