Why my blog went quiet

The Pearl, Qatar


10 years ago I worked in a hotel in a small Austrian ski village. It wasn’t a great experience – I ended up resigning after deciding that I didn’t really like cleaning the loos of English package tourists for €0.76/hour on a mountain with no snow. I had nothing to lose and the boss was happy to say “auf wiedersehen” since he could sense a mutiny brewing, so I jumped on a bus and headed for another hill.

Fast forward to Qatar where I worked a job I loved (and allowed me to sponsor my husband), was expecting our first baby and had a year’s worth of cheques sitting in my real estate agent’s drawer … you could say I had everything to lose.


Warning signs

The cliche says things come in 3s and if they do, you’d better pay attention. Well 3 signs came with warnings that I should be cautious about writing a blog while working full-time in case my company saw it as a conflict of interest, even though there had been no issues so far. You see, by law in Qatar you can only legally work for 1 sponsor or company. If you’re found to breach that law, you can be fired without warning. And then you have to leave the country. Stat.

Blogging isn’t work, it was a hobby for me, and I didn’t make any money from it, but you never know how things can bite you when someone’s feeling hungry. Conflict of interest can sometimes be grey, no? So, while I won’t go into detail about what the warnings were, suffice it to say I weighed up my position as a pregnant woman who very much valued her job and decided that my blossoming blog and I had better take a break.


So, what happened?

Well, now I’m in New Zealand! We moved here in January 2015 after The Coach scored a job. And now I’m stuck with a bunch of draft posts about life in Qatar that I never published!


What next?

So, while I feel like a bit of a traitor now that I’ve jumped … dhow … and I know I can no longer act as resident know-it-all when I don’t live in the country anymore, I’m going to publish the remaining posts I have about Qatar. I’ll then be switching themes to New Zealand and expat life here, specifically the Waikato region in the north island where we’re now living. Because, despite what all Kiwis seem to think, this IS a place that people want to move to and when they do, they will be surprised to discover that it’s actually quite challenging and confusing and not at all simple in the developed-country-where-they-speak-English way they were expecting.

By ‘they’ I mean me.


Image taken by me.

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