Tuesday, August 07, 2012

From Russia with Love

Statistics indicate that I have more pageviews from Russia than from any other nation. That seems unusual. I don't think I know anyone in Russia, and I have never traveled there. I will add a label for Russia and watch to see if those pageviews increase. Perhaps, there is an overabundance of netspiders that originate from there...

Monday, August 06, 2012

Back to Work

I arrived back in Doha about two weeks ago. Our apartment was under a layer of dust, but I had time to clean it. Angela and Vito stayed in Italy, and they get to enjoy one more month of vacation. Vito doesn't start school until the beginning of September, so I'm on my own until then. I called Angela today and they were at the beach. I could hear the surf in the background and wished it was comfortable enough to do the same here.

Not much has changed in two months since we left. It's hot and humid and dusty. There are still heaps of construction projects and heavy machinery littering the city. I like it, though. It's home.

And I'm back at work. Ramadan is in full swing, and, for the next two weeks, we have a modified work schedule. I worked four short days last week and have a full week of preparation this week. Over the next few days, the ABP will get busier and busier as student orientation occurs at the end of the week. We begin actual teaching next Sunday. With great colleagues and special students, I'm really looking forward to my second year here.

Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah taking aim.
During Ramadan, all the stores have unusual hours, and the pace of life is quite different. Around 6:15PM, the roads are dangerous with speeding Qataris on their way to iftar, the evening meal when they break their fast. At about 6:45PM, the roads are quiet and it's much easier to get around the city for a brief time. After that, however, traffic picks up as shops open and people start to emerge.

Aside from using the time to prepare for my classes this semester, I have plenty of time to watch the olympics taking place in London. I have been watching them almost every day after work! I discovered that I can watch events on four different channels, but most of the broadcasts, if there is sound at all, are in Arabic. Occasionally, for whatever reason, it is possible to listen to English commentary. On August 1st, all Qtel (my telephone service provider) subscribers here received 24 hours of free local and international text messages to commemorate Al-Attiyah's bronze medal in the Men's Skeet Shooting event a few days ago, which was nice. I don't know if I took advantage of it like I could have, however.