It’s Just Hair

Sometimes, just sometimes… you need a little change. A little tweak. A little flair. A little hair color. A little cut. Or… sometimes, just sometimes… you do a drastic hair color change & a drastic hair cut. Not because something is wrong or missing (like some people will say) but because WHY THE HELL NOT?! Be fun! Be daring! Be adventurous!! 

I spent a lot of time contemplating this change. I spent countless hours on YouTube watching tutorials on styles, shapes, colors & more. Countless. I would wake up in the middle of the night, pop in my earbuds, lower the screen light & watch more. I’d wake up, clean the house then sit back for my “research.” It was embedded in my mind. I would dream of this change. I grew increasingly more excited. I couldn’t stop! 

Now let’s go back to why everyone who knows me in Alaska screamed an adamant “NO!” to this. 

3 years ago I cut my hair short. It was a BAD haircut. I left crying & didn’t go back to a hairdresser for a very long time. What ensued was a BAD grow out. B-A-D. I told anyone who would listen, to slap me if I ever wanted to cut my hair short again. (Had I been in Alaska I have no doubt I would be covered in bruises right now.) It’s one of the few times I loathe Facebook memories popping up. I hang my head in embarrassment! How could I have walked out of the house during my grow out phase?! Good lord! Lesson learned on that one… see a hairdresser often when growing out your hair. If not- Facebook will remind you year after year of your tragic mistake. 

Let’s go back to my new cut. Augh! I wish I could just make you FEEEEEEL how much excitement I have! How much I love it! How thrilled I am with what I have done! 

The sides & back are shaved. The top layered still a bit longer. I’m going to be JUMPING out of bed each morning, running to the bathroom & trying a new style everyday! The possibilities are plentiful. You’d be surprised. I have never been a huge hair product girl but just you watch out. Wax, mousse, gel, hairspray, pomade, volumizer… whatever it takes to get the tall poof. The spikes. The slickback. And yes- still the curls for my husband. Speaking of… what a champ. When he walked into the house he had a nice smile on his face & through his teeth said, “Ohhhhhh… its…. niiiiiiice.” (He will learn to like it.)

Now…. my new color. Not just blond, but as my friend Alex says, “Swedish Blond.” I’m okay with that description because I love this color on me. Love it! At one point in my life when I was younger, I decided to dye my entire head with a store bought box meant for just highlights. The aftermath was not too nice. No- it was down right horrible. My friend Kris actually slapped me upside the head for that one. Funny, I got those head slaps often from her when I did those kind of experiments. Not sure I learned from them though. 

The point? Don’t be afraid to do something different. If you don’t like it, fix it til you do. Go out on a limb. Maybe it’s not your hair but an activity you have been wanting to do. A new sport to learn. A place to visit. (Qatar to see me maybe?) Whatever it is… Go! Do it! Now! (Post pictures please!) 

Souq Waqif

so͞ok/noun:    an Arab market or marketplace; a bazaar.

“Souq Waqif (Arabic: سوق واقف, “the standing market”) is a souq in Doha, in the state of Qatar. The souq is noted for selling traditional garments, spices, handicrafts, and souvenirs. It is also home to dozens of restaurants and Shisha lounges.”- Wikipedia 

My new friend Debi (1 ‘b’ not 2) took me on an outing today. I’m still reeling from the wonderful spice smells, the colors, the amazing crafts… it goes on & on. 

It is a place where, if left on my own, I would most certainly get lost in. Its no secret that my sense of direction is not up to snuff. It has been said I don’t pay attention to my surroundings enough. I think that’s because I’m looking AT my surroundings instead of taking note of where each one is. 

Upon arrival we strolled past security, on white horses. These men looked magestic up there on those equine beauties. Not sure who gets the unfortunate job of poop scooping though. 

We first stepped into the spice market section. Oh the smells! So many overlapping each other, yet not unpleasant. I have no clue what the spices were… certainly not just plain old garlic, onion, pepper & chili that my usual cooking consists of. I MUST find recipes that include the local spices. I must! 

The fabric here is gorgeous! I wish I could convey its beauty here. Unfortunately I was so mesmerized & imagining making myself many dresses and skirts that I neglected to take pictures. (I need to buy a sewing machine stat!…Kenny, I need rials!) 

Many of the little stores have the men sitting there making their wares. Everything from intricate woodwork, handmade shoes, rug weaving (holy cow the patience!) garments, and more. It was so cool to watch them. 

We stopped for a spot of coffee before we left, sitting outside to people watch. 

There are rows and rows & rows & rows &…. do you get my drift…. of these & MORE little stores & stalls. They twist & turn & double back. They loopty loo & go in circles, connecting to each other. I am certain you too would get lost if left alone. I will admit though, it is not a place I would mind getting lost in. 

Things I Have Learned: Part 2

6 more things I now know…

1) White cars. They are ABUNDANT here. (As I have said.) Im only guessing as to why. My guess is that it gets so blasting hot in the summer that this is the most logical color to have as dark colors attract heat. (We all learned that in school.) I’m curious as to what color car Kenny ends up buying. (You’ll see if you come visit.) 

(This picture is from our hotel room.)
2) CARRY SUNGLASSES!! With all the white cars, the light (mostly tan) buildings & the sand… it’s GLARINGLY bright out. The sun just bounces off all of that. I exclaimed I was getting snow blindness at one point. (I have extras if you forget yours.) 🕶☀️

3) You don’t have to have a license to be a real estate agent here. ANYONE can do it. They mostly deal in rentals & get paid 1/2 a months rent for commission by the renters. Rent here is expensive! 2bed/2bath in a great compound is about $3000. That’s without utilities. Yikes. Hard to wrap my head around that one. However- our pool & gym are AH-MAZE-ING!! Like… holy crap amazing!! (Bring your suits and gym shoes.) 👙👟

4) Malling… people here looooooove their malls. It’s a family affair too. The malls are big and beautiful. There is everything to see and eat at them. (As it should be.) One mall even has a Gaundala in it! (You’ll see when you come visit.) 

5) There’s a beach for dogs! Woooooo!! Taking our foster pup, Jasper there this weekend. 🐶🌊

5) Milk here tastes slightly different. Not bad. Just different. Actually- many of their brand of foods tastes just slightly different here. They have “our” brands but what’s the fun in that?! (You’ll taste it when I cook for you here.) 🥛

6) There’s a McDonalds just 6 minutes away. Do you hear me?!!? 6 short minutes! 🍟🍔

Things I Have Learned In Qatar: part 1-

6 things I have learned so far… I’m sure there is more to come….
1) Women don’t have to wear their Abayas in their homes. (This I knew) However, when their husbands have guests, she must wear it. Most places here have separate closed off kitchens because of that. When she goes into the kitchen, she may remove it so it’s not in the way. (We were lucky enough to find an apartment we liked with an open concept us partying/entertaining Americans like so much.) 

2) When out in public, it is respectful for women to cover their knees & shoulders & not have cleavage showing. Most of you think this would be hard for me. It’s really not. I surprisingly have many articles of concealing clothing. Most of my shirts like that are still tight but I don’t care. I still want some part of my identity. 😁 You CAN wear whatever you want but you will get stared at. And not the good kind of stared at. The bad kind of stared at. 

3) You really should, as a woman, carry a scarf with you at all times in your purse/bag. There are a few buildings that you need to cover your hair in. I have not come across any but it’s best to be prepared. Next reason- AIR CONDITIONING! It can be chilly inside. Not always & not all places. But isn’t it so miserable to be eating dinner while your teeth chatter? To be watching a movie with uncontrollable shivers? Yeah- carry a scarf ladies. Men… you’re on your own. Id say keep a spare jacket in your car for that. Don’t try to be all manly & crap. You will want it. 

4) Women can wait in a separate waiting room in public places. It’s partitioned off from the regular waiting room. In some places- women may not sit in the mens area. I embarrassingly found that out as I was politely & gently asked to move to the co-ed sitting spot. No wonder I was getting looks! Ugh. (I just found out last night that as I sat there innocently, the security guard was sternly talking to the guy helping Kenny… about me. Oops.) 

5) Have a bag to carry your scarf/wrap, a book & water with you. When you go do errands, anywhere you have to wait for something they have numbers you pull then sit down. You. Will. Want. A. Book. (I’m sitting here waiting for Kenny to get his fingerprints & am kicking myself for not bringing my book.) (This is when I sat in the wrong area.) 

*Side Note: I’m on the hunt for a great looking bag for these purposes. (Kenny- I need lots of Rial..!!)

6) I just learned how to spell Rial. For you: it’s about 3.64 Qatari Rial (QAR) to $1 U.S. We use an converter app when math eludes us. (We open that app often.) 

*Another Side Note: Do you know of any great apps to convert Km to miles, women’s clothing sizes and Celsius to Fahrenheit (I told you math eludes us often.) 

In A Lot Of Ways, We Are The Same…

I totally forgot to tell you guys… Kenny & I were walking from one mall to another the other day when a local man stopped us to chat. It threw me back how personable he was. He was wearing his traditional Thawb (I had to look that up to find out what it’s called) so I naturally thought he would walk right past us. Nope. He asked where we were from, what had we done & seen, did we like it here & so on. It was wonderful! I, like many others, forget that they are like us. They laugh, cry, get mad, forgive, play, sing & live their lives to the fullest they can. (I hope like you do.) 

I’m ashamed to say that with the women here, I have been very hesitant to approach any wearing Abayas. For some reason I felt like they should be “anonymous” and maybe didn’t want to be spoken to. Then, our Realtor approached a group to ask for directions to the gym in the compound she was showing us & it was just as you would expect… a bunch of women all talking over each other to give the RIGHT directions. We all laughed & parted ways. Man I can be so dumb. Why would they be any different?! 

*Side note: the women here are BEAUTIFUL! I just want to loooooook at them but don’t want them thinking I’m staring. The take great pride in their faces as they should. Simply gorgeous. *I really need to sell them Younique make up & skin care! They would love it I’m sure! Just as YOU would. Message me. (* Plug but not shameless.)

So- back to the man. Turns out he is from Saudi Arabia & was here on holiday. He “needed a break to just relax.” He was doing what we just did, wandering the mall to window shop. (THATS another story.)  We said our good byes & I walked away a little more open minded. (Always a good thing.) Get out of your shell if you’re in one & LEARN. It’s amazing what that does for your wellness.  Now I need to learn how to say “Hi”, “Sorry” & “Excuse me” (I’m always in the way when we are out.) “Good bye”, and “Thank you”…. you know, all the manners your mom told you to use. See Mom?! I WAS listening! 

Back Massager vs Qatari Outlet

Did you know that you cannot bring any alcohol, pornographic items or certain medicines (350+) into Qatar? It’s true. This is a whole other subject I should dig into later. Remind me of that. You need to know this for my story though. 
For now, let me start with this: Qatar uses a different plug & a different voltage with their outlets than we do in the U.S. (How many of you can stop reading right now & guess where I’m going with this from my intro?) 

If you’re going to plug anything in you brought w/ you, you need an adapter. We knew that so we asked the front desk for a couple to use while in our hotel for the first 2 weeks. No problem! Great! Now that I have that set up, let me continue with this: I have this “back massager” that I absolutely love! I’m talking, don’t leave home without it kind of love. The first couple of times I used it I thought, “Meh, Kenny does a better job at massaging my back than this.” But then wait… hold on… what’s this? I got the thing figured out! WoooOOOO!! My back felt amazing! I raved about my back massager. Every girl simply must own one! 

Then, it got closer to us leaving Missouri. I became increasingly more & more distraught that my beloved massager would have to stay behind for the time we were gone. My poor back. It could be years before it felt the soothing touch of a massager. Sigh. I would have to figure something else out so Kenny wouldn’t get tired & cramped from massaging my back for so long. He assured me I could take it with me. What’s the worst that could happen he would say. So they take it away. We will just buy you a new one when we come back to the states. (Well anyone who knows me knows how much I hate waste. This was not okay with me. Chance them throwing away a perfectly good, and to me, expensive back massager? No way! My baby was just going to have to go into storage at Kennys parents house & wait for me.) Then something happened, I used it close to us leaving. Yeah. Nope. This baby was coming with me. I’d chance them taking it if they didn’t believe it was what I said it was. A BACK MASSAGER!! So I very innocently stuffed it into a jacket sleeve, rolled that jacket up, rolled that up into a towel, & very innocently put it into one of our 8 bags. Dust off my hands & THERE! Done! Walk away Heather & don’t think about going to jail if they catch you. (Because, you know, that’s what my imagination says is going to happen to me.) Long story short- too late- I MADE IT! It wasn’t found! 

Let’s jump back to the beginning. Remember the voltage & the adapter? Well Kenny plugs in the adapter. Then he plugs in my back massager. Then he turns it on. Then…. POOF! BAM! Funny, burnt plastic smell from what he’s holding in his hands. Tv goes off & lights go off. Ack!!! We blew a fuse! A call down to the front desk & a visit from maintenance & we are back up & running. By that, I mean, the fuse is switched back on & my poor back massager is wound up & reverently put back to rest in my luggage. It’s a sad day at The Torgerson hotel room. As I’m writing this I have a little tear in my eye & wish I had a malt to drown my sorrows in. Sigh……

 Gasp! Wait! Oh my gosh! I remember something! A friend, who shall not be named (you know who you are you ol sly dog you) gave me a teeny tiny “back TICKLER!” I have that! All is not lost! Triumph will be mine! 

(Hmm… I wonder if officials here will read this blog? If so- ITS A BACK MASSAGER!!) 

Bidet User Gets Thrill! 

I used a Bidet (pronounced “be day or buh day”) today. First time. It sits directly across the toilet in our hotel room and I just thought, “Well why not?”I’m not entirely sure I used it correctly. I may YouTube “How to properly make use of a Bidet.” I’ll tell you this- I gave a little yelp of surprise as the cool water splashed upon me. After that little initial shock, I found it to be quite pleasant. I WILL be returning to it for more cleansing action…. right after YouTube. 

 I didn’t know how to properly spell Bidet and after asking Siri a few times I had to go a different route. She couldn’t understand what I was saying. My final question to get to the point? “What are those toilet looking things that clean your butt called?”
Sorry- no personal pictures to add with this.