Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It was a hot summer night and the beach was burning (Meatloaf)

The weather is a bit of a dry topic (sorry) but I've never experienced heat like I have the last 2 days. Currently I'm in a nice air conditioned office but outside it's 40 degrees (as it was yesterday). This is hot!

The only other time I've experienced such warmth is in Bangkok when I got off the plane - the humidity (which isn't present here) was such that it was like walking through a curtain of warm sludge that refused to end. Heat can become tangible at that point - a real thing that you have to acknowledge.

I know from my friends Aussie Dene and Leda how hot it gets in parts of Australia but this is new territory for me.
It's so hot that between about lunchtime and 3pm it's not worth going outside. If you do venture out at this time life slows down - it's slower to walk and think in 40 degrees. Feet get hot through movement and dehydration starts immediately. So. instead we've taken to waiting until after 3 to go anywhere - when it's cooled to 30 degrees. Last night for instance we went to the gold souq for a look around at about 6pm (after dinner). I had a t-shirt on (Beatles' Rubber Soul shirt bought in Brugges - thanks for asking) and shorts and I was hot! Not hot as in - phor, look at him/her - he's/she's hot - more - phor, this is warm isn't it Jacky? style of hot.

It's said that the temperature will continue to rise until it gets to about 50. Should be interesting.

I'm not sure how much I've written about Islam on this blog (the heat, the heat). The call to prayers is a costant reminder to us that we live in an Islamic country.

This happens 5 times a day in between dawn and twilight. Each mosque has a person (sometimes it's a tape) deliver the call from the minaret (tall spires as abelow) and this is broadcast (loudly) to the area surrounding the mosque. As there is a mosque every 500 metres - that can create quite a noise (not always as tuneful as the above example). But I love it - I haven't got tired of hearing it and it's nice having a continuing reminder of God's presence. The acknowledgement continues in the language - inshallah means 'God willing'and is used in many contexts. For instance - during a presentation to the Qatari Principals I may say - we'll cover that in the next session, inshallah or see you next Monday inshallah. I really like this acknowledgement.

There is a lot about the moslem religion and culture to recommend it. It is very much like Maori culture. Males are similarly dominant on the surface but the real steel of the family is a feminine influence. The concept of whanau is present too - even more so in arab culture where the wider family live in the same compounds. Even the hongi is the same. There is a gentility in the culture that I really like. Jade didn't really see that because her experiences centred around the malls (younger Qataris) and the streets (Qatari traffic and drivers are crazy) but I've been lucky to form relationships with the people I meet in the presentations.

Jacky and I saw a great display of photographs in the souq a few nights ago. One was a mosaic of mosques. I didn't really realise how different they all were before. I'll finish with some pictures to give you the same experience inshallah.

Ka kite ano - love and peace - Wozza.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the heatwave, I have found it simply unbearable ... even though I was raised in Africa!!
Count down is on for our return to NZ on Friday, woohoo!
Take it easy and keep up with the blog, I enjoy reading about your lives in Doha and the photos are awesome.