First of all, sarcasm.
Second of all, Qatar has been my home for the past 2+ years. In this time, I’ve made some new friends, finally decided on a career, published a book or two and logged a lot more miles around the world
mostly as a result of my desire to get out of this place. So, it’s not all bad. But, it is definitely the least favorite place I’ve ever lived. And, with an airing of grievances, I’m ready to let all of it go and start 2014 in a happier mental place.
Why did I fundamentally hate living there so much?
Here’s just a few reasons:
Try Qatar! I think they are trying to do something about this now, but they’ve had the opportunity to make changes for years.
Do you like a country that constantly changes it’s mind on social issues and laws?
Do you want to move to a country that has only two (novice) English speaking radio stations?
Do you like countries where there is only one legal place to buy alcohol to consume at home?
And certainly do not try opening another venue, because it will be closed in 4 hours or less.
Do you like a country that will see the next foreseeable future locked in traffic and infrastructure nightmares?
How do you feel about migrant labor?
Qatar has plenty going on!
Do you like an airline that doesn’t care about its elite members?
Try Qatar (Airways!)
How about riding buses every time you have to leave the country?
Try Qatar (Airways!)
Do you like waiting years for projects to be finished? HIA, Sidra, the Spinneys across the street…
Try Qatar! Significant delays are the norm!
Do you like mold? Humidity? Lifts that don’t work?
Try the Pearl (especially Tower 24, managed by Asteco, the greatest property management company in the country)!
Do you like loud motorcyclists and automobile drivers making as much noise as humanly possible for hours a day and not a damned thing you can do about it?
Try the Pearl!
Do you like a country that spends tens of millions of dollars on art, but migrant laborers aren’t paid regularly?
How about a country that rips off artwork?
I could go on (and on), but I think that’s enough. I realize my next port of call (Abu Dhabi) will have many of the same issues above, but recognizing that a country could have such an impact on my mental and physical well being has taken its toll and I am so glad to be gone.