Volcano update: waiting it out
April 20, 2010
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Qatar is bloody hot. I just walked ten minutes to a shopping centre to pick up a few bits and pieces (but not, as I’d originally planned, some lightweight clothes. It’s too hot to go out in the day unless it’s in a car so, to my surprise and financial relief, the stuff I have is pretty much OK) and that’s about as far as it’s possible for a puny Brit like me to go. Plus, most of the pavements disappear periodically – Doha is not built for pedestrians. But that’s probably because you have to be insane to walk very far…
So this is where I’ll be until the situation changes. Etihad are shrugging their shoulders and telling me to call frequently, and the British Embassy nearly foxed me with their awful phone system that doesn’t allow you to talk to a real person (even the ‘press 1 to report a life-threatening situation’ goes to the voicemail of someone who’s on holiday for the next two weeks), until Jenny suggested pressing ‘0’. Doh. The FCO are apparently on the verge of announcing a plan to repatriate those of us who aren’t in Europe – I suspect it will involve flying us all to Spain and chaotically transferring us to Calais or on some Navy ship – and I reckon that might be my fastest way out of here. Not that I’m not grateful to Will and Jenny, and god knows I am, but I’m ready for my own bed. (Except it’ll be my own sofabed, since my parents didn’t get their holiday.)
We will see. I don’t have much option but to see, do I? Actually, in a way it’s good – I get to work off my jetlag here (Qatar is just two hours ahead of the UK) so when / if I get back to London I might not quite so befuddled.
(This photo is the view from Will and Jenny’s living room, by the way. It’s pretty incredible.)