Over a month ago I left Qatar and I've been re-settling myself since ending my almost 2 year stint in Doha. Here are few highlights.
Qatar had quite the coronavirus problem before I left.
I didn't feel comfortable with the increasing infection rates and security measures. Medical care in Qatar is not too bad but I still wouldn't trust it 100%. The government mandated the download of tracking app on your phone which definitely increased the possibility of getting thrown in a giant quarantine camp for 30-40 days. The social media posts documenting these camps did not look good - large warehouses of a few hundred bunk beds. Anyways I'm glad to have left with no problem.
Qatar really wants people to pay all bills and debts.
I read some horror stories of people with sizable debt that left a GCC country and a couple years later they found themselves getting arrested while doing some air travel. Qatari banks are the major offender and all instances are technically an abuse of Interpol. Luckily I never took a loan for a fancy car like some Western expats often do, and of course I wouldn't leave my debt unpaid.
Qatar actually won't let anyone leave the country with active bank debt when your residence permit has been cancelled or gets expired. Furthermore an employer will probably inform the employee about closing all open accounts and getting final paid receipts for everything because they are technically liable if any open debt stems from a former employee. With a team of lawyers an employer will likely avoid responsibility and hence it's pushed back to the employee. To avoid any problems from fraud or error, my thought process was to be overly thorough with proof of final payment.
I found a tiny dirt cat a week before leaving.
On my way to the ATM I walked past a super small and dirty kitten getting cooked in the 50 Celsius heat. Medium story short - he got a bath, slept all day in a comfy pillow box, and got adopted in 24 hours by a nice guy that likes to send update pictures,
Flying during the pandemic is pretty good, but the CDG Paris airport is still bad.
Airports were great with the limited traffic and social distancing. This is definitely a good side effect of the pandemic situation. Here's the empty CDG terminal I called home for 20+ hours.
Some final words for Doha.
Goodbye 5 times a day call to prayer I will not miss you, but I will dearly miss the quality Indian/Pakistani food especially the dosa and of course the thali. The best facet of Qatar is definitely the food so I'll finish off this post with a few restaurants for which I should have written personal thank you notes.
- MRA Bakery & Restaurant - Your delivery during the quarantine time was a lifeline.
- Three Roses Restaurant - Thillaivanan, I'll miss your dosa and poori dearly. It is some of the best valued food I have ever eaten.
- Khyber Gate - Thanks for the karak chai, chana dal, and palak paneer. I know you'll never read this but you guys are great.