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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Desert cold

While I was driving this afternoon my phone rang and I passed it to my friend to answer. It turned out to be my wife. After starting to exchange pleasantries, my friend’s voice suddenly rose with excitement.

“What! Are you sure? Yes, we’re on our way now.” Then he put my phone down and turned to me. “Carrefour, now, and put your foot on it. They’ve got heaters!”

As you might have guessed things are starting to get ridiculous around here. At a time when, according to this article ,Siberian winds are sweeping the region, we are living in accommodation designed for blistering desert heat - large roomy houses with high ceilings and powerful, though currently useless, air-conditioners. Often, it's colder inside the house than it is outside. When I had dropped in at my friend's house earlier he was sitting on his sofa with a duvet pulled around him. Fully clothed.

We shouldn’t complain: its not the coldest it’s ever been. It was slightly colder in 1964, apparently, although not for very long. At least no-one is living in tents anymore, as many still were then.

However, we are living in a country with no heaters left. And when there are heaters, news gets out and there’s a rush on them. When Lulu hypermarket got a consignment in a few days ago, there was a mob around the heaters, and they were sold out in minutes.

So did we get a heater? We located the customer advisor - who had been nabbed by a lady presumably acting on the same rumour we’d heard - and he promised they would be in by 5.00 tonight. Or maybe tomorrow. If not then, definitely the day after. He refused our offer of a bribe to reserve us one, but I‘ve got his phone number, and I’ll be ringing him shortly before five tonight. Who knows, I could be down to two duvets and a single set of pyjamas tonight.

Also see: Record rain in qatar

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