My first year in the Middle East has flown by. While some days it seems I struggle through, the year disappeared far more quickly than expected. What I can say is that I have definitely learnt a thing or two!
1. No Expectations
High expectations may only lead to disappointment. Keep an open mind, set your expectations low, and enjoy the highs while learning from the lows.
There are two categories of expats in Qatar – those who will be here a few years maximum, and those that have been here for a long time. When you meet someone who has lived here for two or more years your jaw will drop, then you meet those who have been here over 10 and it astounds you. All the while you’ll just be pushing through to adjust and survive your first year!
3. Simple Difficulties
Everything is more difficult than it should be. Need to open a bank account? You need a letter from your sponsor. Need to exchange your driver’s license? Another letter is required. Getting your car serviced? Yeah, that will take weeks. You’ll soon come to understand (and expect) that everything will be slightly harder than it should be. Which leads me to…
4. Nothing Quite Works as it Should
As above, this can make life more difficult! Come to expect the unexpected.
5. Death Defying Driving
Every outing on the road will be a death defying experience. If you do drive, drive with the attitude that everyone on the road is trying to kill you, that way you will never get too relaxed and will pay attention at all times.