Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cold and Wet in Doha

One day,  it rained.

Not just  a drizzle, not just for an hour.  All. Day. Long.  The sky heavy with low, fat clouds.  Puddle making, skin drenching, chill producing, wet.  Heaven opened flood gates wet.  Tears on my beach wet.
 
West Bay one foggy, rainy day
 
No stormwater system meant pool sized puddles filled streets.  Shoes, socks, jeans, underwear soaked, hair plastered to heads.
 
And still the rain came down and down and down.
 
Foreigners cowered inside under blankets but locals took to the streets.  Walkways were packed with happy groups of men and women in traditional dress, carrying umbrellas, wearing coats.
 
In Arabic class, Qatari Teacher's teenage niece texted her.  "Isn't the weather amazing?"
 
Teacher smiled.  "We prayed for it," she said.  "Water is the essence of life."
 
I shook my head and my life dripped to the floor.
 
Perspective is everything.
 
You see, when "normal" temperatures often exceed 115F - cold and wet isn't necessarily a bad thing.
 
Winter in Doha is cool temperatures (mornings as whoa-low as 60F!), rare drops of rain, chill wind with spitting, stinging sand.
 
Security guards in heavy winter coats, ski gloves and thick pants shivering through 12-hour stand-in-one-place shifts. Workers in stocking caps and boots sweeping walkways.
 
 
Sand in teeth during a last time jog with run-everyday-no-matter-what daughter.
 
Long stretches without a Beach Day.  Brown roots showing in fading sun-bleached hair.
 
Space heaters (no central heat in the desert), blankets, leggings, shoes instead of sandals.  Whole rooms constructed of tile means it's colder inside than outside.
 
But then...Doha Winter is also planting, fertilizing, digging, weeding, watering.  Happy flowers.
 
 
Desert camps, falcon events, dune bashing, truffle hunting.  Crowds running the Corniche until 10am.  Beach sun between 10am-2pm.
 
winter camps under a blue desert sky
 
Brown dish-dashas.
 
 
And one day, at least…rain.
 
rainy afternoon at The Pearl
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