Qatar is truly a super comfy country to live in. As an expat you assimilate into the social life and norms of Qatar. While that can take time and often become a very difficult process, entering a different country with a different culture etc., it can be even more difficult readjusting when you leave Qatar. Qataris and expats can be equally confused by the absence of the comforts we are used to in Qatar, when traveling or moving. Let’s face it; we are helpless when left to our own devices after having lived here! Here are the TOP 10 secret comforts that frankly ruin us for life in any other country. (Caution: Article contains Sarcasm)
1. Doors that open for you, wherever you go
Have you ever gone on a trip and happened to stand in front of a door for several seconds? You’re not quite sure why you’re waiting, but yet also wondering why the door is still closed. In Qatar you rarely find doors that aren’t automatic or opened by a helping hand.
2. There’s always someone who can do the parking for you
Valet parking is hardly news to anyone, but it is news to have valet parking literally everywhere; cinemas, shopping malls, chocolate stores and even hospitals. In other parts of the world you might have to face driving around the same block for the 500th time just to find a parking spot.
3.Bubblegum instead of coins
Small coins feel useless to carry around, especially when they are only worth half a Riyal. Over time you grow less surprised and more accustomed to receiving gum or other candy as change in local shops and supermarkets. So instead of getting 15 QR and 50 Dirhams, you get 15 QR and banana bubble gum. Score!
4. Caramel popcorn
Going to the movies is complete with a portion of caramel popcorn. It’s half the experience! So when you go to the cinema in the UK for example, you can find yourself with an inner conflict over whether or not going to see that movie is still worth it. I mean why are we depriving the world of something so sweet?
5. Fresh cool air inside out
In all honesty, Qatar’s summers are much hotter than the summers in Italy or Spain. Still having no AC in southern European countries makes it feel so much warmer. Yes, the temperature change from outside to inside is very extreme in Qatar, but it makes breaks from the heat, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, all the more bearable.
6. Open shops all around the clock
Siestas, Holidays and even Sundays can keep you from getting your groceries when you go abroad. In Qatar such scenarios are seldom. How do people live like this? Even if it was very natural to you before; because of the privilege of having shops open for you all around the clock somewhere in Qatar, it may feel like someone has robbed you of your basic human rights. Ooops!
7. Groceries packed up for you
Have you ever gone abroad and forgotten to pack your groceries? It is not only super embarrassing when you realize you forgot and there is a long impatient queue behind you, there is also no one who can relate to your excuse. #firstworldproblems
8. Free Sauce!
Ordering food to your home or office is always accompanied with free sauce. But when you come to the States and order fries that arrive without ketchup, you notice that sauce is not a given!
9. Karak as human fuel
You just moved back to (please insert here) and have had a stressful day. All you need is a karak to pump up some energy. But no shop, café or restaurant serves this fast drinkable boost. London noticed this was in fact a horrible condition, and thus opened a Chapati and Karak. Now we are waiting for the rest of the world to do the same.
10. Good weather (almost) all year round
In Canada, you have to live in an igloo for half of the year, in Scandinavia the seasons can change within hours, and in England you face non-stop rain. There is much less drama in Qatar. We enjoy the privilege of planning desert camping trips, picnics and water sport sessions freely without having to worry much about the weather. Yesterday was sunny, today is sunny, and tomorrow there’s a chance of a few clouds.
Of course all of these things are not the reasons why we love living here. Though having these little privileges makes life so much more comfortable, in ways we only learn when leaving Qatar. What about you? What are things you have grown so accustomed to in Qatar, that have left you hopeless in any other country?
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