Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Postcards from Doha

So I've been living in the Doha for a month now, and I never could have predicted what I've experienced. Besides the lack of women, and the women you do see are completely covered up with abayas, the constant construction/sandstorms and the bizarre driving tendencies (last week I drove by a truck going backwards on the interstate) I love the shocking differences of this culture. Accessories are big here because women are covered up all the time. The difference is is that here they are way into brands (logos), which I think is kind of tacky. Just because you have latest Louis Vuitton logo handbag doesn't mean you're fashionable. But that's just my personal opinion. The women sure know how to dress though—seeing their platform shoes and jewelry peaking out from under their black abayas along with their perfectly painted nails and blown out hair is breathtaking (spa culture is also big here). Shopping malls are everywhere and the temperatures are so hot now (the average is around 108 degrees Fahrenheit) that most people either leave the country or spend all day indoors. Since I have to practice modesty (covered shoulders and nothing more than two inches above the knee) I've been wearing lots of T-shirt dresses with leggings, along with my Matt Bernson Flash sandal. The top ways I've been fighting the heat (I break a sweat walking across the street to get coffee) are....
1. Using aloe vera instead of face moisturizer. It soaks right in and doesn't sweat off.
2. Eating watermelon! It gets really old chugging water all the time here, and produce here is really cheap. It costs about $5 for a giant melon.
3. This white top from American Apparel. I layer it over my tank tops and the armpits are baggy enough for maximum airflow. 
Besides the extreme heat, it's just nice to know that my stereotype of the Middle East as a war driven, uber-conservative out of touch place is way wrong. I feel like an American idiot. I'm even going to try and stay after my internship ends at the end of August. I really want to see the Tribeca Film Festival in November. We'll see what happens...I'll keep you posted. 

No comments: