2010. április 19., hétfő

Best of Soffi - Vol.2.

Soffi has clearly adjusted very well to the Qatari living, we can see how she already recognizes the places we go to, the people we meet, which is quite lucky. She is probably also in the right age for doing so. It turns out, she already understands English, however her vocabulary is limited to 'ball' and 'bye bye', but that's a start:-), I'm sure the rest will come very fast.
I was of course worried how it will affect her yet non existing language skills in regards to the previous two languages, but she is doing good. She says the most words obviously in Hungarian but she understands both Danish, Hungarian and English now. She is at the age where she tries to imitate everything we say, just like a little parrot:-), and sometimes she even succeds. I'm trying to limit the use of the pacifier only for sleeping, which also helps - obviously.

Here she is after eating water melon:-), we do have plenty of laundry in this house...
Cool girl:
Mummies sunglasses are the best:
This is the new face she does, whenever she finds something strange, but she can do it on commando too:-), just like here:
When she doesn't wanna eat, you can just give her olives, like here. This was the only thing she was willing to eat that evening... You can even give her the whole ones and she will spit the seed out!!!
Playing with her new best friend, Omar. She was pushing him around in that toy stroller for like half an hour and he just let her... well, he can't walk yet...
And here thay are eating water melon together, by the pool...
She does have shoe fetish already, she is even tries on my shoes and walks around in them:-)

2010. április 11., vasárnap

Overnight desert trip

This weekend we went on an overnight desert trip. We were 14 adults and 7 children and drove in 5 cars with 5 professional drivers.


We started out with a 2 hours dune blashing where we drove actually all the way outside of Qatar along the inland sea, until we could see Saudi on the other side. It was really exciting, like a big roller-coaster, Soffi enjoyed the ride especially when we went downwards, then she made this funny laugh every time:-), she did this for an hour or so, then we took a 10 minutes break and after that she fell asleep. It was just amazing how she could sleep in that car, she slept with her head hanging down, bumping to the car seat back and forth, left and right in every second! I don't think the driver has ever experienced a customer sleeping on a trip like this:-).
Here we are on the break...

After we reached the point where we could see over to Saudi, we turned back and drove back to the camp, where were spending the night.
This trip was organized by an agency, so we were provided a tent, sleeping bags and we had a barbeque dinner and a breakfast the second day. And now that you are imagining how this must have been, divide it by two and then you'll know how the service really was:-).

In the camp there were toilets and 3 showers, the only thing we didn't have was water... so we couldn't really use the showers or flush the toilets, but at least you had toilets... if you would just go on a self organized trip you wouldn't even have any... The first time we were out on a trip with Peter's department, they built an iglo tent, cut a whole in the bottom and pulled it over a hole they digged in the ground:-)... that was the toilet.

Of course it was a very nice and exciting trip, but all that sand!!! No matter how careful you are, there is always gonna be sand in the tent, the sleeping bags were clean though, we took them out of a perforated plastic bag. Through the whole evening we were looking forward to take a shower, we've heard about some people who already have taken a shower - see how rumors can dissappoint you:-) -, which was true, but they have also used all the water there was... so when I was standing there with naked Soffi, waiting for the water to start flowing, and it just didn't - then I got kind of disappointed:-), I could just see how we were gonna sleep covered with sand.... and so we did. But we survived, and it was kind of cool - I'm glad we tried it, and actually everybody should try this who visits Qatar!

There were of course camels too, you could ride them if you wanted:
I was worried wether Soffi was gonna be able to fall asleep in a tent, were you could here each word from the others talking and all the screaming how the other bigger kids were playing, but she was surprisingly quite easy to get to sleep, so actually we were able to have a nice evening with some other adults:-), it was very nice, we haven't tried that in a long time.
The next day Soffi woke up around 5:30 am as usual, so we were of course the first ones awake, but luckily not the last ones who went to sleep the day before:-). It was actually very nice to wake up ON the beach and see the morning sun and the sea, then we really felt that it was all worth it:-)

At 7 am we had breakfast, eggs and sausages - no bacon in this country - and at 7:30 am we were already on our way back to the city. At 9:30 am we were already back at our house, and on our way to the shower:-)!

You'll find more pictures here: http://picasaweb.google.dk/LabanczFamily/OvernightDesertTrip#

2010. április 10., szombat

Mums the World - Playgroup

Every second wednesday we go to a playgroup with Soffi. It's at the Royal Plaza - just another shopping mall. Well actually, each of these shopping malls have some kind of a play area for children, I was wondering in the beginning why, but there is quite a simple explanation and that's the weather. In the summer time kids simply cannot play outside here or just stay outside at all, because it's so hot. So the only way you can get them really tired is to bring them to such a place:-).

This playgroup is arranged by the Mums the World association for expats (expat wifes) in Qatar, so there is morning tea for the mums, snacks and lots of fun for the kids, with singing and dancing and just what you want...

There are several smaller soft play areas inside whit slides and tunnels and so on... plenty of balls... colourful and inspiring environment for children.

And then there are these regular game machines, of course aimed for bigger kids, but Soffi always has to check them out too.
Here is where we do the singing, while the kids can play with those balls, climb all over the place...
... or just dance and clap along, like this lady here:-)


The playgroup is from 9:30 to 11:30 am, and it's probably needless to say that afterwards I don't need to much to get Soffi to sleep:-)... nice...


2010. április 4., vasárnap

Our Lady of Rosary Church - Doha

Since it is Easter time, and us being catholic believers, we've decided finally to go to church this friday. They have just recently built a Catholic church here in Doha, so the surroundings are also like a construction area ( well, like everywhere in Doha).

As we were driving there, and as we knew that the road wasn't leading to anywhere else than to the church, we felt like pilgrims among all these cars. We thought to ourselves, wow all these catholics, can this be true that there are so many Christans in this muslim country?



This is the church from outside, well not exactely how you would imagine it as being a European. But can you see all those cars? We thought, we were never gonna get in there!

But we did, easily... There were not at all many people in the church... We still don't know for sure what all those cars were about, but later we found out that there is a school right next to the church, so maybe there was some kind of Easter celebration over there...???

Soffi made of course friends with this little girl immediately:-). They were playing together for a half an hour, we were waiting for the mass to start, and waiting and waiting ( accourding to the church's website it was supposed to start at 10 am), but there was no mass:-(... so then the little girl has left with her parents, and then we've decided to leave too... That was our Easter church visit:-(... Or shell I just say: Welcome to the Middle East!

This is the church from the inside, not at all like what we are used to, quite an eastern exposure. We haven't seen any other European/American kind of people there... Or maybe they just knew what time the mass really was:-)? hmmmmmmmm

We didn't have a regular Easter this year, but we celebrated it as good as we could. There is no ham and no Easter bunny and chicken ( they are still on their way to Qatar in the container -not the ham though ) this time, maybe next year...

Qatar's specials

Well, almost everything is special here compared to Europe, but there are some stuff that are really worth mentioning.

Nr.1.

One liter water is more expansive here than one liter of gasoline! Here you see on the pictures with your own eyes: ½ a liter mineral water costs 2,50 QR (~3,75 DKK and ~130 HUF) and 1 whole liter gasoline costs only 0,8 QR (~1,2 DKK and ~40 HUF). Tapwater is around the same price a liter, but you'll get stomack ache if you drink that:-).


Nr.2.

I don't know if you can see that on the picture, but they cover the carseats with plastic foil here, so that the abbaye (the black dress the qatari women are wearing above their clothes) won't colour it black:-). You know the sun will always sallow the black colour dresses, so they colour them quite often back to black, which would of course colour the light carseats too... If it's coloured, then it's of course hard to sell it again... You would think that if you have money to drive a new Lexus jeep, than you don't care that much:-), well it's not that expansive here...


Nr.3.
The working people:-)! Actually this picture could have been taken also in Hungary or anywhere in Eastern Europe. You see, how they are washing off the traffic lights, one is working and two are watching it:-). This is the typical working moral here, actually they are just proud that everybody is 'working' here in Qatar, no matter what they do, so they even invent jobs for them:-), you saw how the guys were washing the floor outside at the Pearl:-)?


Nr. 4.

Here they sell skin whitening products instead of tanning products:-). How different we are, we think that tanned skin is beautiful, here they have the darker skin and they just want it lighter.

Nr. 5.

You can go in a shopping mall, shopping for hours and have your car windows down, have a GPS inside and nobody will steal it! Well, of course, otherwise they'll cut your hands off:-)!


Nr.6.

We have 3 bathrooms in this huge house, and non of them has a power outlet in it, how strange is that and how annoying!

Nr.7.
The traffic signs are funny here too:-)