Thursday, June 4, 2009

Driving in Doha

It really wasn't so long ago that my mornings involved running down West 9th Street with washed -and dried- hair, in peep-toe stilettos, hailing down a cab with one hand, handbag du jour thrown over my shoulder & west village 'Ciao For Now' ice coffee in the other hand.

Now my mornings look more like this:

One big, beautiful, squirmy baby in one arm, one big diaper bag that has loose receipts, cash, and rusk wrappers trying to escape the scary interior of their home in the other, two bottles of water (one in a sippy cup form, used more for flinging water throughout the car instead of drinking), and a couple of old CDs from before the days of extensive iTune use (think: Counting Crows "August and Everything After," Sarah McLaughlin, Will Smith) - all unloading into our new, used Honda MRV.

And you know what? I love it. For the past week, I have been a legit driver in Doha (car registration - check, insurance - check, driver's license - check, swift knowledge of how to navigate Doha roundabouts with a Qatari in a Porsche cutting me off from the left and a worker from the construction sites in a 1980 Nissan truck cutting me off from the right - check)! As such, we've said good-bye to our sweet driver, Bashel, who couldn't read maps to save his life and had zero sense of direction, but was trusty and reliable and a nice guy.

It's only been a week but I'm amazed at how fast life in the car comes back to you, despite hailing cabs in New York City for almost the past decade. Isabelle's been great in the back by herself. Though we have ventured into new territory for us...the monotone perma-whine she does occasionally when she's tired & fed up and there's no way I can do anything about it from the front seat. And then of course the out of schedule napping that happens in cars, which always leaves me wondering "do I keep driving?" or "do I wake her knowing there's no way now that she'll go down for a 'real' nap?" or "if only I could throw a magic invisi-sheild around the car to keep her safe so I could run into the market for two minutes without waking her," or "do I just stand at the door of the car taking pictures of her perfectness?"

Who we're dancing to this week: Khaled, Aicha
Funny thing about this song, is that although Khaled is a really famous Arabian singer better known here in the Middle East than back home, I first heard this song out at a bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn years ago and loved it. How do I remember such randomness you ask? Well, in this case, I remember my friend asking what the name of the song was and the bartender saying "Aicha" pronounced like "Iesha" in my favorite 7th grade dance song by the best kid group ever to hit R&B, ABC...Another Bad Creation. Thus, it had a permanent place in my brain, and now my heart.

We're also listening to Khaled's other song, Didi, quite a lot. Ironically, I think it was released around the same time ABC released their Iesha. Didi carries a high quotient of sticking in your brain so be warned, but we're digging it.

The other Iesha...

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