Ian Edelman in Doha

Expat exploits in Qatar

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From work to home

I now have a car-cam… which means I can record everything that happens through the front windscreen while driving. I bought it to make sure that I had evidence in case of a car accident. It will also give me the opportunity to record some of the more interesting and unusual behaviour on the roads in Doha.

In the meantime you can enjoy my journey from work to home. It is speeded-up 8 times so you will experience in just over 2 minutes a journey which takes me around 20 minutes.

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Abandoned vehicles

Maybe once or twice a week I walk down to the local supermarket or to the laundry a little further away. If I take a side street,  I come out behind the Asiana restaurant. Every time I have passed by since we arrived, a blue Honda saloon car has been parked  on the road. It has not moved in well over a year.

Abandoned Car

I have an app from the Ministry of Municipality & Urban Planning or ‘Baladiya’. This allows me to report issues on my phone.

App screenshots

On Saturday afternoon I reported this abandoned car. I completed the location screen, took a photo of the vehicle and pressed send.

An automatic response came within seconds to say my report had been received. Two days later I had a phone call requesting clarification of location. When I walked by  yesterday the car was gone.

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The price of bling

This evening, on my way back from eating at the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants,  I passed the Versailles store. I wrote about their ostentatious jewellery in an earlier post. This time, instead of walking on by, I stopped and went inside.

I tried to look nonchalant, as if I frequent super expensive jewellery stores on a regular basis. There were five sales assistants. I was the only other person in the shop. I find it hard to believe they can ever all be busy with customers at the same time.

Large item of jewellery

One of the sales assistants approached me. I asked him the price of the largest piece in the window. He opened the back board behind the display. I confirmed that this was indeed the item that I was interested in. He leant in and peered at a small card label tied to the piece.

He closed up the case and we walked back to a counter where he took out an electronic desk calculator. He showed me the price –  265,500QR or £43,570 or $72,900. I thanked him for the information and as I left the store, I tried to look as if I was pondering a potential purchase.


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Shalaf shortage

Headline reads 'Supply snags cause Shalaf shortage'

I am sometimes reminded that I am a stranger in a strange land. I had to read the entire story to understand what this headline meant.

Shalaf is a brand of LPG cylinders, currently in short supply due to a gas explosion at a petrol station a few weeks ago. Woqod, or Qatar Fuel is, and I use their own words here, ‘a downstream oil storage, distribution and marketing company’.

Fortunately I am not affected by the problem.