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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Exploding Petrol Stations

Last week the local papers and the forums were full of the recent fire in a Doha souq.

Less well noticed (although it did get some attention) was the exploding petrol station in Al Hilal.

Now, I have absolutely no idea why the petrol station exploded.

However, when I first came here I was surprised that when cars entered petrol stations they always left the engine running.

In the UK we are always taught to turn off our cars and even our mobile phones when filling up.

As months and then years went past, I took up the lazy local habit of lounging in my comfortable car, cooled by the soft breeze of my engine powered AC, while a poorly paid Asian sweated in the Doha heat to fill up my car.

A couple of riyals tip would assuage my conscience almost as well as the AC assuaged the heat.

And when guests from the UK came and remarked upon cars running in garages, I would laugh, and say:

"It can't be that dangerous - after all, it's not as if the country suffers from exploding petrol stations!"

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