Thursday, September 18, 2014

Déjà vu all over again

When I resigned and left Qatar in 2012, the arseh- crazy people I worked for said that they'd provide an NOC: a letter confirming no objection to my changing sponsorship to work for someone else in Qatar. As this promise eventually turned into a statement to the effect that "We told you we wouldn't give you an NOC," I was banned from working in Qatar for two years.

Welcome to 2014, and here I am back again. I'm working for a different firm and in a senior position, so hopefully I'm in a position to avoid a repeat of the previous unpleasantness.

The rest of the situation is eerily familiar:-
  • Beloved Wife can't join me for a year because of the enormously long lead times for teachers;
  • I have a motor vehicle (two actually) in Dubai that can't be imported to Qatar because of an arbitrary rule that says you can't import anything that's more than five years old;
  • I'm living in a furnished apartment, probably for a year.
However, this time there are some significant differences:-
  • My apartment is within walking distance of work, so the nightmare commute across Doha is neatly avoided;
  • The said apartment is a hotel apartment, so someone comes in and cleans it twice a week, bed linen and towels are provided, and all utilities including internet are included;
  • I have several very old friends in town so I'll not be BillyGoat NoMates;
  • I don't have a boss who stands in the middle of the cube farm and screams about how everyone is incompetent.
Being a hotel, the place has a 50m pool, gym, Kwik-e-Mart, numerous restaurants, and also 24-hour room service. Now my complaints have been answered the fridge actually makes ice, there's a proper cooker instead of an electric camping stove, and the washing machine works. I think I shall avail myself of the on-site laundry to get my ironing done by professionals who are better at it than I. As I'm right at the top of the building I even have a view. It would be better without another tower in front of me, but how much time does one spend looking out of the window?

I rented the cheapest 4x4 I could find because a Nissan Sunny won't get to the Inland Sea loaded with dive kit, and I'm investigating devious but legal methods of getting my motor vehicles from the UAE to Qatar. The Kawasaki dealer reckons that I can import my motorbike (again) because the fatuous five-year rule only applies to cars, and it isn't a car. However, when I tried that suggestion at the traffic police I got the same sort of look that sprouting antennae might have achieved. I could perhaps drive around on Dubai plates but, despite there being prima facie evidence that this is possible (vehicles with non-Qatar plates in Doha), my previous attempts to get this to happen have stopped with some wag at the Saudi consulate telling me that this is "imbossible."

Meanwhile I'm entertaining the prospect of buying another motorbike, but until I get my Residence Permit this is also imbossible.

I guess I'll have to go back to Dubai every couple of weeks and get by motorcycle fix in the UAE. The roads are better there, actually. In the mountains there are actual bends.



Anonymous said...

Does the serviced apartment have a spare room? We quite fancy some winter sun in Doha.

Eric (and Ann) the Boat

Grumpy Goat said...

Only two rooms I'm afraid, Mr The Boat. A bedroom and a lounge/diner (plus minuscule kitchen and bathroom; one of each). But there are lots of spare rooms in the Crumbling Villa in Dubai.

Martín said...

you actually got a job? when did that happen? and more important: where's the post about how you came about it? Inquiring minds...


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