Ian Edelman in Doha

Expat exploits in Qatar


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Traffic jams with a view

The journey to work during the last 6 weeks has gone from 20 minutes to well in excess of an hour…that is on a good day, and there are not many of those.

The upside of a slow progress though the traffic is that there is always something to look at through the window of my stationary car, other than the line of cars in front of me.

horse
Police horse

Alriwaq
Alriwaq gallery getting ready for Damien Hirst

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I am sure someone will tell me what this is

Pigeons
I know what birds these are

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Looking towards the towers of West Bay

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The minaret of the mosque at Fanar

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Perdition is not on my route home.

 


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Rocky Road

Since we moved in to our flat last December, the road behind the building leading into the basement car park has been a bumpy and uneven surface of desert rock and sand.

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road3

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Last week I came home to a whole load of diggers and rollers… so work had eventually begun on putting a proper road surface behind our building. >

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A rusty sign at one end of the road appeared about a two year municipal roads maintenance project…. the two years was up in October, so I guess someone noticed that work still had to be started let alone completed.
Digger

For several days the surface was raked and rolled. On Wednesday I came home to a thin surface layer of black.

road5 road4

The yesterday a top layer of tarmac was added.

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I’m not sure how much finishing of around the edges there will be… but I will report back when the work is done.


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Parallel universe

This morning we returned from a weekly shop. We took the bags out the car and headed up to our flat in the lift.

We got out the lift, through the fire door and walked to our flat at the end of the corridor.

It was strange that each of the four flats in our corridor now all had doormats including ours. So in the hour we’d been out someone had placed a door mat in front of each door. We seemed to have the nicest. We both struggled for an explanation. The people in the opposite flat had also put their daughters bicycle away.

8th floor

I tried the key in to door… it wouldn’t turn. I took it out and tried again with no more success. It was only at that point we both saw that we were trying to get into someone else’s flat… we were outside flat 85 on the 8th floor and not 105 on the 10th floor.

10th floor

The lift speaks to tell you which floor you have arrived at, and yet with all the clues two grown adults took several minutes to realise they were not where they thought.


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At the car wash

At the end of every week, our car is covered with a fine layer of dust. In most of the shopping mall car parks there is a car cleaning service. For 15QR (around £2,50) you can get the exterior washed. Quality of the service varies but it is cheap and is done while we are shopping.

Dusty car

Yesterday I left our car in a mall car park where we all met to go on an outing to the desert. I paid 15QR to get the car cleaned. We thought we would be going in someone else’s vehicle, but due to the numbers on the trip we had to use our own car.

So off we went in my shiny clean car into the desert first arriving at the attractively named ‘Singing Dunes’…. so called because they make a resonating hum as the sand moves… that’s not our car, but it gives you a clear view of the steepness and beauty of the dunes.

Sand dune

Although we did not attempt driving on soft sand where a 4-wheel drive is essential, most of the journey was on desert roads and several kilometres off-road on compacted sand.

By the end of the day the car, the outside was covered with dust and the inside full of sand… see how I avoided the cliche of bringing the desert home with us.

This meant another trip to get the car cleaned… this time to the car wash opposite the airport.

Car Wash

Car wash

Car wash

For 30QR, the car was cleaned inside and outside and is now ready to collect a new layer of dust this week.