Monday, December 07, 2009

Doha Diaries, no. 4

  • Well, the psychiatrist visit turned out to be a bust after all. When I took the prescription he wrote to the *one* hospital that carries the medication, they wouldn't fill it because it was issued by a private psychiatrist. They will only fill scrips issued by their own physicians...great. So, we get to do the whole thing over again when we're back in the States for the holidays.
  • We *finally* got tickets home!! Did I already mention that? Don't remember, but I'm so excited, that I'll mention it again. Knowing that home is just a few days away--we leave Saturday, Dec. 12th--makes everything better. It was a completely horrendous process to get the tickets because our bank in the US has a limit on purchases made with a debit card during the first six months an account is open, so we couldn't use that card. Then, Qatar Airways--the only airline with a direct flight to Houston--doesn't allow debit cards to be used at all for purchasing tickets online. What did we have to do, you ask? We had to go to the bank, take out almost QAR68,000, bring it to campus, and pay a travel agent in the faculty lounge. Completely fucking bass-ackwards, but we got the tickets.
  • We *finally* got our car loan! The new minivan has been with us since Thanksgiving, and Hubby adores it. When all was said and done, we got totally screwed because of the global recession and its effects on lending everywhere, including Doha. Even though our contracts are renewable (and this is indicated on our salary letters, which one must provide for the bank), they would only give us a loan for the term of our current contracts--a year and half (remaining time). Add to that the over-pricing that happens on vehicles in Doha, and our car payment...ready for it???.... $2,220/month! Now, we get a $575/month car allowance to help offset this, but holy shit! This will cut into our monthly cash flow in such a way that it will make the debt elimination process a bit slower. The flip side to this is a) we'll have it paid off before we leave, and b) when we leave, we'll be able to sell it for more than we would back in the US, and we'll get the vast majority of our money back. We can then use that money to pay off debt or to put down on a vehicle or house back in the States. I'm not happy about the way it all shook out, but it was the lesser of two evils.
  • The Thanksgiving dinner party went really well...more food than a small army could eat, and good company. One of my colleagues is particularly fabulous and is now my Super Smart, Funny, Gay Friend :) He's truly thoughtful, hilarious, honest, and he's lived all over the Middle East. His company and conversation brighten my time at school, and I'm smitten with his Sri Lankan partner as well...Lovely guys!
  • Amelia has had The Worst Cold in the Universe for the past four weeks. It has necessitated one ER visit, a visit to her pediatrician, one inhaler, and four other minor medications. She's pretty much healthy now...and getting her healthy before our trip back to the US was the important thing for me.