The Doha Bubbles we live in

By lusitano


Life in Qatar, for some (the lucky ones), happens in controlled environments, well insolated from most of the harsh, bad and ugly things that a conventional life may offer elsewhere.
People in Qatar live in bubbles, pleasantly cooled by the air-conditioning, leaving outside the nasty, extremely hot and yellowish-grey hazy - almost lunar - atmosphere.
Eric Weiner in his book “The Geography of Bliss”, described hotels in Qatar like big coffins that protected people from the harsh outside environment and where most of the foreigners’ life, took place.
Those who live here know well that he wasn’t 100% accurate, although we must agree that as an outsider short term visitor he did have a point, life in Qatar, as a matter of fact does go beyond hotels. There are other “coffins” where we troll around in Qatar… but they are always protected and controlled environments!
Our lives here are circumscribed to a few of those air conditioned bubbles that are linked by our air conditioned cars. The exposure we have to the outside harsh atmosphere is very limited, as if we were living in a lunar colony (as sometimes reminded by the outside atmosphere conditions). Exceptions are when we have to lower our car windows to pay the gas or, when the weather permits, when we lay by the hotel’s artificially cooled pools or artificial beaches.
Start from our homes, the centre of our existence in this colony of bubbles. Every morning of every week day, we leave our Home bubble, in an air-conditioned transporter that takes our children to the air-conditioned schools and ourselves to our air-conditioned work places. The only thing we may complain about here, is that the channels through which our transporters travel, are not yet air-conditioned and not yet annoyance free, in other words, not yet completely protected bubbles like our comfortable cells.
The Hotel bubble also plays an important role in our sterilized existence here. It is in that air-conditioned bubble where we find our decompress zone, where we can fine dine, have a few drinks, have Friday brunches, lay by the pools and artificial beaches and even exercise in their gyms as we don’t have the chance and opportunities do so out of our protected bubble. The Hotel bubble is the playground of the privileged bees that offers all the comfort in a secure and sterilized atmosphere. The Hotel bubble almost gives us a sense that we are in a conventional world, it’s just happens that, all we can think of leisure, is conveniently located inside the same bubble!
The Mall Bubble is another important one as it provides for all the basic needs. It’s where we go to get our food, our decent cloths, watch our appropriately censored movies, have nice standard Family Happy meals and even pray, if we wish to!
The bank bubble, although not to often visited, it also has an important role as it is seen as the means to proceed with life once we have left the bubble colony. It allows us to ship out to our ports of origin as much cash as possible, while still maintaining our wonderful sterile life style.
The airport bubble is used as much as we can possibly afford to get in touch with the real world that is turning out there and to eventually use it as the final escape.
Life in Qatar can be easily lived within these bubbles, connected in between with our air-conditioned cars!
These bubbles, besides providing us and our families a comfortable zone to exist, they also protect us from all the ugly and nasty, no matter if its weather, or sufferance from the abuse laborers even from the government’s wrong doing or not doing!
It’s an incredible sterilized world, that makes our lives so easy and rosy because, living within these bubbles we don’t have to face issues that are not our own. We can live happily without facing any injustices suffered by others, any aspect that may need to be improved, as long as they are not part of our bubbles!
As long as we think within the boundaries of these bubbles, accept the rosy picture provided by the local media, which matches the internal décor of the bubbles we move in, we will not have any trouble!
Here, we are all Truman’s in a Truman Show!

The above was a satire and is not a literate description of any individual’s life.
Any similarity to anyone’s life in Qatar is merely coincidence.

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

Formatted Soul,

Who is complaining here?

:)

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

PM,

I agree, it was an immediate discomfort upon arrival here for the first time. Nothing we can do or say about it, it’s cultural and we respect that, but it sure doesn’t stimulate a lot of interaction between locals and foreigners!

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

Vegas,

That's right, he was quite an interesting one in this forum!

I guess he was banned, kicked out of this bubble, hopefully he will come back wearing another mask!

By anonymous• 13 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 3/5
anonymous

I am referring more to the notion of individuals mixing outside of their immediate party. This is something I often witness in other parts of the world, but here one has to be careful of even making eye contact or smiling across genders.

 

 

 

I refuse to drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

Arien,

Cities that are built from scratch, will take centuries to have the life of those cities that developed and expanded naturally during centuries.

It's a fact that we can all validate by living here!

Obviously the weather is a huge retarder factor, to the expansion of the vibrating life!

As PM noted, the local culture (although to less extent) is no stimulator either!

By Vegas• 13 years 1 month ago.
Vegas

You can't teach experience...

By Arien• 13 years 1 month ago.
Arien

Culture doesnt play a big spoil sport when it comes to the social life PM. Every nationalities has their own circle of friends and relatives whom they gather with.

______________________________________________

- Listen to Many...Speak to a Few -

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

Rizks,

Sorry mate to disappoint you!

;)

By anonymous• 13 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 2/5
anonymous

interaction between them due to the nature of the culture.

 

 

 

I refuse to drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By Arien• 13 years 1 month ago.
Arien

Its true and are realities - No complaints though.

Wheather as PM said plays a major role, and when it gets better during the winter few more bubbles gets added for sure. The parks.. beaches..corniche...and all those out door activities which becomes feasible.

______________________________________________

- Listen to Many...Speak to a Few -

By Rizks• 13 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 4/5
Rizks

AND i thought, by reading the title some new BAR has opened in DOHA....:(

By Vegas• 13 years 1 month ago.
Vegas

Weekly routine...Oh well

You can't teach experience...

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

PM,

I agree with you. The weather plays a huge role on the lack of life out of these bubbles.

Take Cairo, Marrakesh, Tunis, as just a few examples of cities with common cultural traits, but exposed to less harsh weather conditions - life in those cities(out of the identified bubbles) is as vibrant as Tokyo, New York or Hong Kong are in rush hours... ;)

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

FS,

Thank you, I am glad that you like the reading (even thought it’s sketchy and not really well written). I thought for a while, that I was somehow being offensive to you.

Then the only thing we don't agree is that, I am not complaining.

Critical reviews about what surrounds us, doesn't mean to harm that surrounding. It exposes point of views, makes people reflect on those issues, maybe criticize the author or maybe, somehow, contribute for eventual changes.

This kind of reviews are common almost in any city I lived in, published in blogs, local press, etc…

They aim to reflect on our lives to stimulate ideas that may be (who knows) one day, contributed to improve that same criticized issue!

Too bad it’s not yet a common thing here and that is why I believe people react as if they are being personally attacked. It’s not that the objective!

It’s not my intention to directly change anything with my posts, just expose issues that maybe relevant for those who share this space.

Once those issues (sometimes uncomfortable) are exposed, you never know who can act on them.

Don't restrict yourself just because you are not a native. I encourage you to express your thoughts, your opinions and share them with us.

Isn't this the purpose of this forum?

By Formatted Soul• 13 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 4/5
Formatted Soul

you should continue posting... to be honest I like reading your posts...:)

Though I see no point in complaning in a place where you or me cant change anything...

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

Formatted Soul,

Oh dear, sorry to have bothered you with my "personal vents", and I thought that I was contributing for the life of this site, where we can post and share things about living in Qatar!

Should I never post here anything again?

By anonymous• 13 years 1 month ago.
anonymous

that is addition to what Gypsy intimated (that it's largely due to the harsh climate), it's also like this because the indigenous population is seriously outnumbered and feels they must struggle to maintain their cultural purity.

 

 

 

I refuse to drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

Gypsy,

You're quite right, except we do have the Cabanes à sucre!

:)

By Formatted Soul• 13 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 4/5
Formatted Soul

Exactly lusitano....you are right

Most people write personal blogs to vent out what is bothering around them...

Somepeople write on public forums...thats the difference...

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

Gypsy,

You are right, how could I forgot such an important bubble...LOL

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

QatariLady,

I was just answering your question ;)

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

Formatted Soul,

My dear, some people like to write about what surround them, for the pleasure of writing ;)

Some people like to criticize what other write about.

Isn’t this why this world is so amazing!

By fubar• 13 years 1 month ago.
fubar

Thank God for alcohol.

This place seems to turn most people to the drink, including the locals.

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

Genesis,

It’s not true that what I described takes place only in the west. Have you been in Hong Kong, Saigon, Tokyo, Chengdu, Taipei, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Malacca, Mumbai, New Delhi, Colombo, Shanghai, etc, etc...?

Vibrant life is everywhere in the streets in any city where the weather and cultures permits!

Yes, Dubai is exactly like Doha, and to which this satire can also be applicable!

My dear friend, I am lucky enough not to be trapped in those bubbles, when and every time we leave Doha ;)

One more thing: it’s normal to react on a defensive mode when there is no critical reviews of our societies, aka here in Doha and as you well mentioned, Dubai. Most societies I've lived in laugh at them selves and the caricatures thy make of them selves. Doha and Dubai an=re to sensitive or too young and insecure to react that way?

;)

By Gypsy• 13 years 1 month ago.
Gypsy

Come on guys, you do have to agree that these "bubbles" do accurately describe life in Doha for many people, and for most during the summer. Then again, if you take away Hotel and put bars, it would describe life in Canada during the winter.

By Formatted Soul• 13 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 4/5
Formatted Soul

lustino...some people find probs everywhere they go...in plane...with Security...with dull faces at malls..etc....:)

By Arien• 13 years 1 month ago.
Arien

lol Gypsy - QDC..brightest in colour, and biggest in size.

______________________________________________

- Listen to Many...Speak to a Few -

By QatariLady• 13 years 1 month ago.
QatariLady

Actually I was commenting on your replies not on the satire..

____________________________________________________

You need Religion so when everyone goes to Paradise you're not left behind..

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

QatariLady,

My dear, you don't understand... ;)

writing is like acting and painting...

The above was a satire and is not a literate description of any individual’s life.

Any similarity to anyone’s life in Qatar is merely coincidence.

By Gypsy• 13 years 1 month ago.
Gypsy

You forgot the QDC bubble.

By genesis• 13 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 5/5
genesis

"The huge amount of life in any corner of street, facade of old buildings, terraces, little shops, old cafes, art galleries, cinemas, the guy playing guitar in the park, the violin in the subway, the children's parks, the skate boards, the mini concerts on the street, the amazing old architecture, the beaches, the rivers, the walks in down town, the windows of the shops in your commercial district, the pubs, the gathering after work in a cornet pub or a sunset esplanade, I could be here writing a new looooooooooooonnng post just to describe a tinny little bit of the immensity of life that takes place in conventional country, outside of the bubbles illustrated above"

....I also long for some of that during a holiday, but What you described here is only valid in the west. Not the whole world. Wouldn’t be boring , if all the places are typically the same( a replica of a so called modernity that the locals are not keen to have) . Aren’t you one of those who repeatedly wrote how fake Dubai looks?

Maybe you’re the one whose imprisoned by those bubbles. Maybe instead of blogging the same thing every day, you can step outside. And interact out your own created bubble.

By Formatted Soul• 13 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 5/5
Formatted Soul

Some people complain about everything under the sun....

By QatariLady• 13 years 1 month ago.
QatariLady

I checked your profile and found out that you're over 35..Then why are you so whiny?!

____________________________________________________

You need Religion so when everyone goes to Paradise you're not left behind..

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

Thank you all for your comments!

By lusitano• 13 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

Alexa,

Think a little about your hometown and the quantity of life that is happening in-between these bubbles.

Have you been here so long that you forgot how vibrant cities in non desert climates are?

The huge amount of life in any corner of street, facade of old buildings, terraces, little shops, old cafes, delis, bakeries, fruit corner, bookshops, newspaper corners, convenient stores, museums of all sorts, art galleries, cinemas, the guy playing guitar in the park, the violin in the subway, the lady painting in the park, the guy selling caricatures, the clown performing in the square, the children's parks, the skate boards, the mini concerts on the street, the amazing old architecture, the beaches, the rivers, the walks in down town, the windows of the shops in your commercial district, the pubs, the gathering after work in a cornet pub or a sunset esplanade, I could be here writing a new looooooooooooonnng post just to describe a tinny little bit of the immensity of life that takes place in conventional country, outside of the bubbles illustrated above.

Are you from the Gulf or have you been here that long that you forgot how it is to live in a conventional country, where the most interesting part of life does take place out of the referred bubbles?!

By QatariLady• 13 years 1 month ago.
QatariLady

Good question..

____________________________________________________

You need Religion so when everyone goes to Paradise you're not left behind..

By shoeaddict• 13 years 1 month ago.
shoeaddict

how about a blog?im becoming a fan of your posts.

i hope when i said the comment your personal bubble didnt burst.

and yes,,,i believe that each individual has a personal bubble.funny,that i noticed that when individuals get approached by people they do not know,they get defensive?is that because they have bubbles that havent burst yet?or just afraid they would get infected with real life?

By QatariLady• 13 years 1 month ago.
QatariLady

[quote:] "Also Qatari's whom just got introduced to 'legalized' alcohol have problems handling it, even more so as they can afford more expensive alcohol."

To you ppl drinking alcohol is a social activity.. To us it's alcoholism.. That's why..

[quote:] "No offense to Qatari Ladies, I have noticed they outsmart their males by a landslide"

Our males only? How offensive!

____________________________________________________

You need Religion so when everyone goes to Paradise you're not left behind..

By Aunt Polly• 13 years 1 month ago.
Aunt Polly

Excellent and all true - I think it should be sent to a newspaper so more people can read this.

AP

By donosa• 13 years 1 month ago.
donosa

can you imagine dude?

They sometimes remind me of that scene in Zoolander (I can't find the video!!) where they are trying to figure out how to work the computer.. they act like monkeys...

I've seen real life scenes like this here hehe

By anonymous• 13 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 2/5
anonymous

Turn it around Donosa...

What if tomorrow ALL laborers would leave....

I would love to see a Qatari figuring out how to use a pump at the gas-station

No offense to Qatari Ladies, I have noticed they outsmart their males by a landslide.

By anonymous• 13 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 2/5
anonymous

It is a perfect assessment of our lives. I like the lunar colony simile, yeah, it is true (remember the movie Total Recall, sometimes the landscape reminds me of that ).

and Qatarita, sometimes there is not much left to do..mostly for us Indians, whenever we drop in at any of my friends', his wife takes my wife to the kitchen so they can gossip without interference, and his kid will take my kid to his room...my friend and me will just look at each other, exchange silent nods and he will go inside to raid his liquor store:):)

By donosa• 13 years 1 month ago.
donosa

HAHAHA dude! That last line is very truth indeed!

Anyhow, I have always wondered what would happen if we ever run out of electricity, or if there's a big crash out here. This is when "survival of the fittest" comes in, and the ones who would survive for sure are those laborers out there...

Us?? I don't think so....

By anonymous• 13 years 1 month ago.
anonymous

I'm fine how are you? :D I keep updated with you through the QL tabloids :p

By anonymous• 13 years 1 month ago.
anonymous

Dude...lol in epidemic proportions!

By anonymous• 13 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 3/5
anonymous

Qatarita,

Allo, allo... how 'r you?

The sea here is heavily polluted and beaches not much to write home about either, unless artificially created.

As goes for alcoholics, that is because of 6 days working weeks and increased levels of pressure at work. Also Qatari's whom just got introduced to 'legalized' alcohol have problems handling it, even more so as they can afford more expensive alcohol.

But to be very honest, judging some unemployed expat-house-wives, whom I see on a regular basis, I can understand why these guys become alcoholics.

:-P

By flanostu• 13 years 1 month ago.
flanostu

i wish i could drink at the airport :(

By anonymous• 13 years 1 month ago.
anonymous

Dude i've heard from some of my expat friends (the wives) constantly complaining that ever since living in Qatar & suddenlt access to more wealth, their husbands are becoming alcoholics :(

By anonymous• 13 years 1 month ago.
anonymous

Taking into consideration that other GCC countries that have lesser access to the sea do offer sea living for its inhabitants.

Its a pity that although Qatar enjoys a geographical advantage of being a peninsula, oddly enough seafront land is rarely privately owned and there is hardly any acess to quality sea living.

By anonymous• 13 years 1 month ago.
anonymous

Nice one Lusit, thruth.

100%

I do think, judging behavior of some, Hotels are a one way ticket to Alcoholism for many.

By fishermanalex• 13 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 5/5
fishermanalex

100%

By mjamille28• 13 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 4/5
mjamille28

nice one... in my case, i'd have a bigger "Mall Bubble" ;)

Log in or register to post comments

More from Qatar Living

Trendy ice creams to try in Qatar

Trendy ice creams to try in Qatar

This summer 2022, try out the most trending ice creams in Qatar. Check out the ones listed here!
Things you can buy at Dragon Mart

Things you can buy at Dragon Mart

Right from a pin to a variety of unique furniture, Dragon Mart has it all. Visit Dragon mart this Eid Al Adha 2022 and shop to your heart's delight.
Restaurants with live music in Qatar

Restaurants with live music in Qatar

With the gastronomical journey elevating its standards in the country, we're always on the look for new and exciting finds in Qatar. Good food, good company, and good music is a combo that we all love - here's a round-up of some restaurants in Qatar that play live music
5 Air Conditioned Open Spaces in Doha

5 Air Conditioned Open Spaces in Doha

Qatar is one of the world's fastest-warming regions with fierce heat. With temperatures soaring to (enter temp) usually, certain activities tend to become a tedious task - especially if outdoors. But, life must go on and we are witnessing Qatar aim to air-condition the outdoor marketplaces, streets, and even outdoor malls, so we can enjoy a nice breeze during activities. Here are some spots to keep an eye out for especially during the summer.
Go swimming in your local pool in Qatar

Go swimming in your local pool in Qatar

Beat the heat this summer and enjoy your holidays in these swimming pools in Qatar
Places to buy fruit cakes in Qatar

Places to buy fruit cakes in Qatar

Wondering where to buy the best fruit cakes in Qatar? Here are some of the best places you can get fruit cakes from.
Entertainment centers for kids in Qatar

Entertainment centers for kids in Qatar

Wondering where to take your kids this summer? Here's a fun list of entertainment centers for kids in Qatar!
Reasons to visit Al Wakra Central Market in Qatar

Reasons to visit Al Wakra Central Market in Qatar

The Al Wakra Central Market offers livestock and fodder, in addition to a variety of traditional items, fruits & vegetables, accessories, and so much more!