Along the way we've come across things that are surprising or unexpected about living in Qatar. Here are a few in no particular order.
Our bathrooms have two toilets, I still don't know what the other one is for.
My pet peeve is that some people use a water spray system instead of toilet paper. It is like the water sprayer by the kitchen sink in the United States. Anyway, in public bathrooms it is disgusting, there is, um, contaminated water on the floor. The water is all around the toilet, on the seat and floor, and bringing Sophia to the bathroom in public places just feels gross.
Crossaints are pretty popular here, and we are learning to love them. A little to much in my case...
I have not seen a single vending machine since we got here.
Most all meat tastes different than it does in the USA. Even the Burger King whopper is a little different.
I was expecting the McDonald's to have a royal with cheese as discussed in pulp fiction. It does not. They have a quarter pounder with cheese. Lame.
There is no metal change, all paper bills.
The Internet feels slow, everywhere. Probably because we are behind some kind of big brother filter.
It is unexpected how normal some things are, for example, we've been to a Halloween party and are going trick or treating on Halloween.
Anything that can be negotiated generally is. The guy painting our living room came down 20% in one sentence of negotiating.
There's a lot of people from Australia here, and they have a great Australian radio station.
There are three important features of a car here. Size for safety. Acceleration for getting into and out of roundabouts. I regularly put the pedal to the medal and go from 0 to 60 as fast as possible. The air conditioning - how quickly it cools the car.
There are no addresses and no mail. Thus, google maps is not that helpful in getting directions. The no address thing is really a pain, sometimes the best you get in directions is telling you what major road it is near, or what restaurant it is close to.
Aside from about five days, someone in our family has been sick at all times.
Produce goes bad really quickly.
Cheese tastes funny, softer and just different.
We thought five pounds per week of free shipping from the USA would be plenty. We used our quota for Sept Oct and Nov in the first two weeks here.
Children's stuff is really expensive. I made the mistake of not looking at a pair of crock shoes for Sophia before we bought them, and found out at the register they were about $60. Toys are the same way, about twice as expensive.
I have not found a place that rents blu ray movies, and the cheapest I have seen them sold for is around $50 - $60.
For some unknown reason everyone here wants to know your blood type. Sophia's school wants to know. We have to know for our visas, meaning we have to call the hospital where Sophia and Audrey were born to find out. It is also printed on our Qatari ID.
In order to buy alcohol from the one store in the country that sells it I have to bring a certified letter from my employer telling them how much money I make per year. I can only spend 10% of my yearly income on alcohol.
Tomorrow we go in for our driving license, at 6am. We have baby sitter who is coming at 5:15am to watch the girls sleep. That is a weird time to schedule a babysitter.