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Thursday, 24 February 2011



If you’re lazy. Just skip to the last paragraph. How gentleman like of me =D

I’ve been in this country for almost 4 months now! So theres a lot to say about this place. Brace yourself.
I had never even heard about it until I got this job! Time has really flown by! Its been an EXPERIENCE! Moving out, easy, moving to Joberg, Cape Town, easy. Moving halfway across the world on your own. Not so easy!

Two Awesome Qatari gentlemen!!
What doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger and it certainly has broadened my perspective on the world. Just when I thought I knew everything, I came here and had my mind blown. Now, Im SURE I know everything haha. Its been a rocky road, but hey, you never know what you’re made of until you put yourself to the test. When things hit the fan I always think to myself“AT LEAST IM NOT IN THE ARMY”.  Out here you really are on your own. Its just you and God, Fortunately I have AWESOME family and friends who keep me going! Their support has made a world of difference. I learned that its not the ‘place’ that makes a place suck, it’s the people. No offence to the Qatari people, as with every nation there are some AWESOME people and some not so awesome. The culture here is weird. Especially the work culture!

You can’t work here unless you are “SPONSOREDby a Qatari person. Which basicly means they allowed you into the country to work for them. You remain under their “sponsorship”, and should you want to change jobs, you will have to get permission from your sponsor in order to do so. Your sponsor is responsible for you. So the company brings you in and you work for them! A lot of room for abuse which happens now and again. In certain companies. If your sponsor wishes to send you home, they can. It’s a system akin to modern day slavery.

If you want to open a business here, you have to be sponsored! So all the big brands like Virgin, Louis Vuitton, Gucci etc etc have Qatari owners, who get paid every month by the companies they sponsor! Clever system huh? All you have to do is be born here and BOOM, you’re in the money. Keeps the locals rich and in control of everything. Its not as bad as it sounds though. The human rights laws are ‘ok’ so it keeps the psychotic ones in check. As a visitor, you will be totally unaffected by any of this. Its like a mini dubai here.

There is a definite hierarchy within the workplace across various organizations, where individuals are mounted on their high horses based on salaries, nationality and sometimes skin colour. A thought shared throughout many industries.I thought we moved away from that? Oh yes, that was only in SOUTH AFRICA ! Note: these are just my personal experiences and what I have been exposed too!
Anyway, discrimination is rife, nepotism in the workplace is obvious. Often complained about by all nationalities through many vocations. Weird! Challenges faced all over the world no doubt. A lot more obvious here than in SA though! Few people are awarded on merit over here. Take SA 15 years back and that’s what you can feel here, when you pay real close attention. There’s an underlying tension between people. A fear. An avoidance. A hush. Anyway, as a nation South Africans have moved out of that, and I for one will not be putting up with it. Respectfully speaking.
There is however, space to grow, space to learn... as a person. Definitely space to EARN! 
There is still a large amount of professionalism that needs to be injected into the work culture if they really want to attract the attention of big money makers and loyal subordinates. It is encouraging that certain companies hear out issues and become involved in these situations and are willing to iron out the creases which are negatively affecting the business. At the end of the day, people are being paid to be productive and create profit for themselves as well as the company

So Qatar was awarded the bid for the 2022 World Cup. Wow, 2010 Fifa World Cup.. you rocked my world. Qatar has a long way to go, they also have an entire 11 years and an endless bank account! They rejected fifa funding, saying they don’t need it! The things they’re planning are MENTAL (as in mind blowingly awesome. Not psychotic). A lot can happen in 10 years, and a lot needs to happen.
For one, the backward thinking of people need to change. I’ve noticed a distinct difference in the attitudes of the locals that have been over seas (studied or other) versus the attitude of the ones that have been holed up here. A lot more open to new ideas, less prejudiced etc etc… everything you would expect from a person who sees a new way of life.

With that said, I’ve met some awesome people here! Some cool families (one Indian family from South Africa who I spent my birthday with. Very kind of them to invite me to supper!!). My sister said, with Indians and all their cultural faults (as with any nation), one thing they know how to do is be hospitable! And another thing, we have mutual friends. That’s INDIAN for you haha. Everyone knows everyone! Even half way across the world. Not forgetting to mention the "Stanley" family who have adopted me as their own! Their kindness, hospitality and deep, thought out advice on life issues are much appreciated.

I’ve been exposed to different cultures. Indian (like the real Indians), Filipino, Lebanese, Egyptian etc etc…
Pretty Boy Swag!
A special mention to Joseph “pretty boy” Kidwell for him welcoming me in this place and taking care of me like a brother. No issues, no hidden agendas, no rewards. Just a good old fashioned GENLTLEMAN. Both of us seem to be on a similar journey through this place, in life and with God.

New Years eve with Joseph & Marco
As far as exploring Qatar goes… it’s the size of Gauteng with about an eighth of the population? There isn’t much of a night life or social scene. My mother said that’s good, because I’m here to work so its fine if I don’t socialize. Ha.ha mom… ha.ha. Besides the coffee shop vibe and pubs in the hotels, there isn’t much to do at night. Plus, when you’re working 6 full days a week, there’s not much to do any night.

There aren’t many tourists, cos cmon, this isn’t much of a tourist place, although that’s where its headed.. the next Dubai they say. A better way to put it would be… Dubai is Qatars prettier but poorer cousin. And by poorer I mean like how Richard Branson is poorer than Bill Gates.
Qatar has MAD money and the salaries are inflated, but so is the cost of living. Not in any way matching the salary, but certainly more expensive than South Africa.
I went to Nandos and paid a whole R80 for a ¼ chicken meal! Property prices are high. Like insane. And if you aren’t Qatari, you cant buy! Only rent.

I haven’t talked much about my work? Yeah.. I know. Cos I haven’t had much work to even talk about!!!!
So I’ve been here for 4 months. Month 1 (and a half) I worked in the gym (getting used to this place). The next 2 and a half months I’ve been helping with Pre-sales for the new gym im gonna be working in. And this passed week I’ve been working IN the gym, setting up the machines and putting things in place. You thought I was a fitness trainer? SO DID I!The gym opens on the 5th of March, where I shall resume my duties! Oh ya, I still got paid nicely, at least. New phone, new threads, new soccer boots and such. It’s a nice place to come to if you want to set up your future. You can save nicely!

So despite the challenges, upsets, issues and overall below par treatment by a few. I’ve grown, matured, had my eyes opened and its made me a better man for it… Enduring difficult times builds character. Too many men turn and run at the sight of discomfort. Too many men give up. Not enough men finish the course. Not enough men have hands and hearts that become coarse.
Why am I still here?
A gentleman completes the task he lays his hands to….


The 1st post!

So this is my blog. Welcome. 
Why ‘The Gentleman’s Quarters’ you say? I believe we live in a new era of men where the old ways have been lost. Heres to reviving what your mother taught you… and a whole lot more. I don’t mean throwing your handkerchief over a puddle for a lady. Cos then you’ve just gone and ruined a good handkerchief.

Here’s too a little corner where a gentleman can voice his opinion about a life well lived... so far.

A glimpse into what I’ve seen, what I’ve heard, what I’ve learned.

Here’s to young professionals. Who are getting around to their 1st jobs, 1st big paychecks, some nice disposable income. The life you longed for after college, after being a broke student (with few worries in the world).  
Personally, I know I couldn’t wait to start earning! Then I started earning… working… learning… now I look back and I APPRECIATE college days. Exams? Psh! That was pie compared to what you face in the real world. Mmmm… pie…

Here’s to the lifestyle of the independent 20-somethings. Outta college, out of our parents houses. Out to make money. Out to make something of yourselves.

Here's to enjoying some of my nuances. Some life changing experiences. Some interesting perspectives… in case you get tired of me (which you wont), I’ll be throwing you some articles by some awesome friends!
Which include an astute and highly respectable lady of the 21st century… and no, I don’t mean dressing Theesan up like a girl =D.
If you know me. You know Theesan. He’s one of the best mates! Loyal to the core. You will no doubt be hearing about him and from him.

With time I should be putting up some articles on fitness, achieving the body of your dreams as well as my own personal training blog, training program and progress… no pictures, you never know who’s watching!

You can lookout for some of my ramblings on dating, women and all their never ending issues. With sure backfire from that young lady I told you about… but more about that later.