A week into my tour of duty in Qatar and I can report with a few nuances and nuisances of living in the Middle East. I have been enjoying living ashore and my house mate Joe has turned me onto a few delightful traits of his which can only be described as liberal and swashbuckling outsourcing on a grand scale.
When we moved into our apartment we took our laundry to the local Laundromat so it could be washed and folded to a good standard for storage in our free standing closets. We have a kitchen drawer full of fine eating establishments that are quite happy to deliver at all hours. We had a cleaning lady come and clean our apartment yesterday. There is some talk of getting a cook into cook us dinner a couple of nights a week. I am not sure if I agree with all of this but I will happily go along with it if it frees me up for….
Playing Diablo 3. Imagine waiting 12 years to do something. Imagine waiting an additional three weeks because of work commitments. Imagine finally getting a day off and the time to fulfill your destiny and the servers being down for maintenance. Needless to say I was positively thermonuclear last Wednesday I am sure you could have heard me screaming where ever you live.
Needless to say when the weekend finally came on Friday and Saturday I played so much Diablo 3 that my eyeballs almost fell out of my head. A sandstorm literally sanded me into my room and although people came and talked to me they could have been figments of my sleep deprived mind. I made the mistake of leaving the apartment complex on Saturday afternoon and was hit with both sand and a huge culture shock. I am a million miles away from home. There are sand people (Jawas) walking around. If I do not want a kebab, shesha or mobile phone my part of town is a bit lacking.
I completed my first run of Diablo 3 on Saturday evening. I could breathe again but I picked up a cold. I have named this illness sand flue. In my ever so smart but completely bullshit capacity I have worked out that new comers to the Middle East get a cold within the first week due the climate. Hence a lot of our crew stricken with this mystery illness.
Indeed it was a dire sight that greeted me at work on Sunday morning. A lot of sand. Luckily I do not work outside any more and shall not be working outside until a decision is made about those blasted mast cameras.
What else? well liquor laws here are interesting. To purchase alcohol for use at home you need to get a licence and buy it along with bacon at the “naughty’ shop. The only other way to have a tipple is to drink at one of the numerous bars and clubs that are part of hotels. The really interesting thing is that these hotels are never full of guests staying in rooms. I surmise that Qatar is not a hot tourist destination for many so what keeps these hotels running is the large and thirsty ex patriate community that frequents the bars and clubs.
In an effort to make things a bit homelier I printed off 45 photos to adorn our living room. I organized them by geo location and time of day. It became blazingly obvious quite quickly that I have a sunset and cloud fetish. When I go I want to be on a cloud drifting off into the sunset.
What what else? Well my wife and I will be reunited next month. If that is not cause for sensible celebration I do not know what is.
More news as it hits me in the face. Ciao!