In a country where women constitute less than a quarter of the population, stereotypes about expat wives are plentiful, and almost never good.
Contrary to popular belief, expat wives don’t “just sit around having tea parties all day” or spend all their time shopping, asserts Australian expat and Doha resident Kirsty Rice, who blogs at 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle.
Rice, who has lived in Tripoli, Jakarta and Kuala Lampur, among other places, writes:
This is not a piece about how hard it is to give birth or raise a child in a foreign country. It is not a piece about health care and being terrified that you may need help that is simply not available. It’s not a piece about bomb scares or low flying planes or being told to avoid certain parts of the city on certain days…
It’s not about getting lost ten times in one day. It’s not about being 45 minutes late to pick up your child from his first day of school because you just couldn’t work out how to get from one side of the ten lane highway to the other. It’s not about being out of your comfort zone, not being able to read the signs or speak the language when you first arrive.
It’s about making a joint decision to leave your home, your career and your family … Yes, there are fabulous aspects to the Expat life. There’s the travel, the new friends, the possibility of new beginnings… there is one thing I think we all agree on.Whether it’s Singapore, The Hague or Doha, in the early days, it’s not bloody easy.
Read the rest of the piece here.
When it comes to Qatar’s social structure, are expat wives sorely misunderstood? My impression is that the stereotypes about Qatari women are even worse!
What do you guys think?