Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Season's Fleeting

Vito displays his gold medal.
Winter's here. It has been windy outside, but also sunny and clear. In the throes and humidity of never-ending Summer, I didn't think it would ever get so cold here. We had a little rain spell in recent weeks and, since then, it has been cold. Our apartment is made of stone and tile, and we're thinking about picking up a space heater. Actually, Angela's not, but I am because I'm more delicate.

Vito had his final soccer practice of the season last weekend. Soccer practice happened two times each week: once indoors at Doha College on Monday afternoons (when Angela took him) and the second time outdoors on the Education City campus on Friday mornings (when I took him). I was never thrilled about waking up at 8AM on Friday mornings (which is the first day of the weekend here). Practices will resume again at a different location after the new year. It has been fun to watch lately. In the last few weeks, Vito has finally started to get the hang of it—chasing after the ball  and running in the right direction instead of looking at the clouds or whirling dervishly. I suppose he takes after his father in that way.

We're friends with a German couple and their kids—the first friends we made here in Doha—but they are moving to Bahrain next month. They went out of their way for us at the beginning of our stay here, and we'll miss them tremendously. Anyway, they're packing and sorting through their things, and they asked us if we wanted a Christmas tree and their fish. We passed on the fish, but the Christmas tree is blinking and sparkling away in our living room right now. Angela found some colored bulbs and lights, and the three of us decorated it a couple nights ago.

Christas comes to the Q.
On Monday night, I wanted to celebrate Angela's first substitute teaching gig here, so we all hopped in the Honda and drove to Souq Waqif to try gelato at La Dolce Vita, a little gelateria here in Doha, and we came across these Christmas ornaments with Arabic imagery on them. We bought three, one for each of us, and added them to our little Chrismas tree when we got home.

Despite the lack of Christmas overkill that can usually be found in the states at this time of year, there is a festive spirit throughout the city. Qatar National Day takes place on the 18th of December. Apparently, a parade will march along the corniche. Flags and banners and bunting and lights and grandstands are being erected toward that end, and it looks it's going to be a nice party. Unfortunately, we depart on our Winter extravaganza on the 16th, so we will miss all of the holiday hullabaloo here. We're happy, however, that we will be able to visit family in Italy as we haven't seen anyone there in about 18 months.

It's hard to believe the school year's almost over. Today was the last day of regular classes at the Academic Bridge Program, too. Next week is finals week!

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