Trip Start May 06, 2006
47Trip End Ongoing
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I have been given temporary (I hope) accommodation in the Hitmi apartments - Ian Druery springs to mind. They are in Bahr Al Arab Street near the Museum and Bridge roundabouts (you need to now the name of your nearest roundabout - no one knows streets much - see later). I am on the first floor. My first night was Wednesday 10 May 2006.
They are reasonably new but not well appointed. I wrote a two page memo to my boss the next day stating my suggested improvements.
A far cry from my 30 square bungalow on 2274 square meters of land in Brisbane.
I have two full sized bedrooms and 'ensuite'(it runs off the lounge) and a bathroom, kitchen and lounge
It is directly opposite a Mosque. Prayers are called 4 times per day. First day it was at 3:30 am and again at 3:55 am. Apparently this changes daily. Can you imagine an Arab voice beaming out on a loudspeaker at 3:30 am. It sounds like he is begging the people to come and pray.
It is also directly across a large hole in the ground where a man sits all day with his large mechanical rock breaker pummeling into white rock. He starts it at 5:30 am. He also works Saturday (as I found out this morning!) Friday and Saturday are the weekend here. He also produces a large amount of dust that comes through the vents in the kitchen and toilets - people who know me know I cannot stand dirt on my hands ( unless I am gardening or something). I am continually dusting.
There are three air conditioners and when they are all on full-bore they can almost cope with the heat. I sleep with two on and turn the one in my bedroom off - I do not like air conditioners on when I sleep. Night time temperatures get down to 29 at the moment.
The streets around the apartments are not good - cars parked all over the place, people sitting out in the street, road all broken up, a number of other apartments being built
I feel for these people as it is people like me who are coming in and taking away their homes. No one really cares where they have to move to.
I ventured out for the first time yesterday - I would have stood out like a sore toe. A white man with white hair white Colorado short sleeved shirt, Just Jeans stretch jeans and Billabong surf sandals. Off to do his shopping at the Giant Supermarket which is about 100 metres from the apartment. I was the centre of attention in the supermarket as well. Eyes everywhere or maybe that is just my heightened awareness of my surroundings. ( I think I might be the oldest looking man in Doha!)
I stuffed up at the checkout. (there goes the 'call for prayers' at 11:30 am on Saturday - It is many decibels louder than the rock breaker!) I forgot to get my fruit and veges priced. I loaded everything back into the trolley and went back to the other end of the store.
I do have a cleaning service available - someone will come and clean the unit for me - paid for by SEC.
I am getting used to this place - no choice.