Ian Edelman in Doha

Expat exploits in Qatar

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Air Conditioning Part 2

The aircon in the car is now fixed. It took 3 days and now the car is cool again. Apparently the old compressor had been running at less than full capacity. In addition the technician reported that the heater unit was broken. Just like direction indicators, car heaters get little use in Qatar so I cannot guess why it was also defective. The bill came to 6,925QR, which thankfully I did not have to pay.

It took 4 days to get the air conditioning in our bedroom fixed. I am not an electrician, but that the thermostat frequentlty flashed 0°C and wouldn’t turn off suggested to me there was something wrong. There is a tendency here to try and repair faulty equipment. This is a laudable and green thing to do, however in my experience a replacement is a quicker and better alternative. The electrician dismantled it, while his assistant watched. He brushed out the electrical board and re-assembled. He went away. That evening the unit failed again and so the fan came out to try and keep us cool that night.

The electrician, along with the silent assistant came back the next day. We agreed that the thermostat needed to be replaced. We got them to swap the broken bedroom unit for the one in the living room to ensure that we got a good night’s sleep.

He returned the following day with the replacement, which he installed. It didn’t work. He called a colleague who came to check the wiring was correct. So now we have two electricians and one silent assistant. The two electricians agreed that the new unit was faulty and disappeared off to find a replacement. The silent assistant appeared not to have an opinion.

They returned 15 minutes later with a new thermostat, which they fixed. The air conditioning came on. The room began to cool, yet the temperature on the digital readout remained stubbornly at 26°C.

We called them back the following day to check why the temperature showing on the screen appeared not to change despite the room being appreciably cooler. The doorbell rang and we had the two electricians, the silent assistant and the electrician’s supervisor. They checked the room temperature and the air coming from the air conditioning vents. It was all OK. We should leave the air conditioning on all the following day and see what happened. When we returned from work, the readout had dropped to 22.5 C. Everything was good.

One of the differences with home rentals here and in the UK is that, although we did not have to pay for the labour, we had to pay 650QR for the replacement of the thermostat.


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Room with a view

The view from our bedroom looks down across the C Ring Road to the Corniche and beyond to West Bay. You can see exactly what I see in the photo at the top of the page.

When we moved in we expected to see a building gradually appear centre-right. The footings were there, and the beginnings of uprights to support the structure. In the middle of the site stood an orange crane. On windy days the crane swung round in line with the wind direction. We hoped the building would not be tall and obscure our view.
Three years later nothing has been built. Recently the crane disappeared. I’m not sure exactly when. It must have been a sizeable task to dismantle. One day I looked out and our crane was gone. I’m guessing that our view is now safe for the time being.

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Air conditioning

I has been just over 3 years since I moved to Qatar. This post was going to recall the high spots of our time in the Gulf. Instead my Saturday and this post has been high-jacked by my car.

The weather is a slightly cooler 39 to 40°C, which is better than the 46°C of last week. Today was supposed to be a day of rest. Unfortunately this morning, the air conditioning in the car decided to break. When turned on, the vents emitted only superheated air. Turning it off was relatively cooler, but only to the ambiant air temperature. I had to drive 10 km to the car dealers, the last 15 minutes was spent in slow moving  traffic.

My car is at the Nissan dealership waiting to be checked over. Fortunately a couple of months of warranty still remains so at least I won’t have to pay for any repairs.

I started writing this sitting in a rented Nissan Sunny waiting to meet J from an appointment. It’s still over 40°C, so the engine is running and the air-conditioning is keeping me cool. When we first arrived in Qatar, I was shocked when I saw people sitting in cars waiting with the engine running and the air conditioning on full blast, however there is no other way to keep cool.

This morning the air conditioning in our bedroom decided to literally go on the blink… it flashes zero and even blows out  air when switched off.