Hello again, Sorry its been a while….. the last two weeks have been insane! This will be the first of several posts under the category “patience, patience, patience”. This is a skill I have been practicing VERY hard over the past couple of weeks. As I’m sure you have heard from several different sources, moving internationally requires a lot of flexibility and, you got it, patience. Other countries are not often as efficient as the United States; if nothing else most countries will have their own particular policies and procedures that vary widely. Here in Qatar they take health and safety “very seriously”. You are not allowed to get a Residence Permit here unless you can prove you are healthy and not a criminal. Luckily, for me I am both of those things. The hilarious part is that I have to prove it twice.

You can be half way around the world and a waiting room in a government building still looks the same!

Last week all of the employees were shuttled to a medical building to get a few tests done. When we arrived men and women were separated (this has happened at any government building we have visited thus far) outside of the building and we actually used separate entrances. We entered into a large waiting room that looked eerily similar to a DMV. We were given a ticket with a number on it, and then we proceeded to “wait”. There were no seats so we just stood quietly to the side. After about 10 minutes we were ushered to another area that had more chairs so that we could sit. Interestingly enough there did not appear to be any medical people working until about 30-40minutes after we arrived, just security and cleaning staff. Anyways,  we waited in this side room for roughly 35 minutes before we were ushered out.

The security lady asked us to go upstairs for pictures, but didn’t really give us any direction on how one would actually go upstairs. Turns out, you had to go back through the main waiting area, through 2 other rooms, then down a long hallway.

Photo line

After that you had to enter what looked like a janitor’s closet but turned out to be a stairwell. At the top of the stairs we entered another waiting room that had both men and women in it, but we were told to continue down the hall and through a set of double doors. Once here, we found all the other women! Snaked around the hallway (that led to the roof) were about 20 Qatar airway flight attendants, teachers from another school, a small family, and now the Awsaj women. We proceeded to wait in this line for roughly 40 minutes. About 20 minutes into our wait one of my co-workers got a phone call from her husband. He wanted to know where we were and how much longer we would be…… ha ha ha…… We had not even completed step one of four and the men were finished, great. The hilarious thing about this particular line is that we waited to take a picture that we had already taken the second day we arrived. We tried to explain this several times to no avail. Even after they took the new picture, it was the older picture that showed up on the computer screens during every step of the medical process.

Following the pointless picture-taking we assumed we were supposed to go back down stairs. We found our way to the original waiting room where they wanted to see our number tags that we took at the beginning. Of course, by this time all of our numbers

i’m sure those chatting women got in trouble for not keeping the line straight……

had been passed. So, we waited to speak to a woman at one of the counters who wanted to take our picture again! After this we were somewhat split-up. The group of girls I was with were pointed in the direction of the blood test area where we got to stand in another line. The security staff wanted this line to be perfectly straight, she did not appreciate you if you tried to turn around to talk to your neighbor….. When we made it half way through this line, we were removed and ushered to the x-ray line (apparently the blood-test line was too long). Luckily, the x-ray did not take too long, and compared to everything else, they were somewhat efficient. There were little dressing rooms available where you were asked to remove your bras and just have a white t-shirt on or one of the gowns provided.

My bruise 2 days later spanned 2.5 inches, after this it got darker then turned green!

Then you waited, five at a time, to enter the x-ray room where you were screened for TB.

After I completed, and was stamped for the x-ray I got to go back to the (very straight) blood-test line. When you reached the front of the line they scanned your forms, checked your picture, and handed you a vile. Then you got to go to another hallway….. and you guessed it….. another line! Unfortunately for me, the women drawing my blood did not to the greatest job. My arm ached for two days and I had a nasty bruise for a week that is still visible.

So– nearly four and a half hours after being dropped of I got a photo taken (that we already had completed), a chest x-ray, and a vile of blood drawn; all of which I had completed in the US prior to coming here. All I really have to show for all this was my impressive bruise and  one more thing to check off the imaginary check-list and one step closer to getting my residency permit.

Yes, Doha medical facility I do have some suggestions! ;)

Coming in a few days……… Doha Driving school and test!