It's a quarter to 8 in the evening and we're forcing ourselves awake until at least 9. We're settling into the hotel apartment, which in some ways is better than our NY apt - reliable internet, bazillion TV channels, loads of space for Isabelle to play, her own room(!)...and did I say reliable internet? We spent the day out at the City Center Mall, which is four levels, has a center ice skating rink & 2 of the many Starbucks in Doha. We picked up a few transformers/voltage converters & I was surprised to see so many familiar shops & just about every American fast food restaurant you could think of, including places I didn't even know were still around like TCBY & KFC. We stocked up on groceries at the large Carrefour that rivaled the Schnucks in Jefferson City (think mega Wal-Mart with grocery store). It is HUGE and has rows and rows of groceries, produce, gear - like strollers & even furniture - as well as electronics.
The past week leading up to this point bordered on insane. We found out on Tuesday that our visas were ready, so the movers came on Thursday, finished packing on Friday and we were on a flight here Friday night. It was stressful at times, and even more stressful at others but in the end, we managed to get our life in the city packed up & on a container headed east. Moving across the world was swiftly becoming a reality as the boxes were piling up around me at lightening speed. So as minutes turned to hours and hours turned to days, and days to to our final day, so came pangs of heartache, excitement for adventure, nostalgia for the fun times had in that great city and thrill for what new experiences lay ahead. One might think I would have been more emotionally prepared for leaving New York since we've known this was going to happen forever, but it's only after tickets are booked and your stuff is gone that it really sinks in. It's an end of an era and I couldn't have wished for a better 8 years in NYC.
As thick as my emotions were in those final days, I'm finally feeling present in the moment and excited to learn about this city & the people in it. Tomorrow we have a guided orientation of the city. Richard will be off to work on Tuesday & I will be on the hunt for a home. More to report later... xx