Ian Edelman in Doha

Expat exploits in Qatar


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My mother told me spitting was a dirty habit. I have never really spat in my life other than the white froth at the end of my twice daily tooth-brushing.

But here in Qatar spitting is much more common place than I have been used to in the UK. The exception is on the soccer field where I believe the FA rules, and my observations, suggest that a player must spit at least twice during the match, as long as it is not at another player or fans of the opposing team.

In Doha, it is not unusual to see someone open a car door and lean out while waiting at a red signal and deposit a gob of spit onto the road. Walking along any city street, you will come across small glistening pools of spit. A common sound is also the loud guttural rasp as a mixture of saliva and phlegm is summoned up ready to be deposited on the pavement.

It appears to be only men who spit. I have never seen a woman spit. Maybe there is some physiological difference which means that women don’t generate surplus mucus. In this age of equality I find this explanation difficult to swallow.

For many years I thought that women did not pass wind, but it was a revelation to find out that they were just as gassy as men. Women were just much better at disguising it whereas for a man there was a definite sense of achievement. Maybe this also applies to spitting?


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