Friday, November 14, 2014

An Ordinary Life

Museum of Islamic Art
from the park
 
Her husband works in oil, construction, water, marketing. He's an executive, engineer, architect, accountant, geologist, pilot.
 
She's lived in Doha 5 years. Before that, home was Bahrain, then Kuwait. Her children attended American schools abroad, university stateside. Grew up, married, reproduced.
 
feeding the birds
on the Corniche
 
She lives in a three story villa tucked inside a walled compound with other families from her husband's company. There's a pool, tennis courts, gym, spa, convenience store. A live in maid mops floors, scrubs bathrooms, walks the dog. A driver escorts her to American Women's Association meetings, Tuesday Ladies Group, monthly mani pedi, weekly kaffee klatch.
 
Qatar National Theatre
from the inside
 
Her highlighted hair is neatly coiffed. She wears a loose fitting cotton shirt in the Middle Eastern style, Donna Karan jeans, high fashion pumps. Her bag is Gucci, bought cheap at that little place, I'll take you. She's a skilled bargainer, as demonstrated by the gold that shimmers at her neck and wrist, and glistening pearl earrings.
 
shopping Doha
International Trade Festival
 
She travels home three or four times a year, enjoys golf and shopping weekends in Dubai and Istanbul, beach holidays in France and Greece.
 
Bob and Chris
atop the singing dunes, 2014

 
Some people camp the dunes, shop the souk, eat a late meal at Kempinski, she says. "But we mostly stay home at night. We eat dinner, watch tv, go to bed. Get up, do it again." A young man in a white waist length vest slips between us, spirits away the used dishes. The smell of just baked bread courts the scent of honeyed lamb. An air conditioner hums.
 
ladies' tea
 
She slides a cube of sugar into milky tea and circles the confection with a shiny spoon. It clinks against the saucer. She wraps pink fingernails around glittering porcelain, breathes in the bitter and the sweet.
 
There are perks to the adventure, she admits. But for the most part, "we live an ordinary life." She smiles. "In an extraordinary place."
 
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