Breet breet!

I had just changed into my extreme hot weather walking kit and was on the point of going out when I thought I heard a cricket or cicada chirruping somewhere in the house. Clearly a quick eviction was called for. I stood still to listen and immediately the chirruping stopped too. (This is typical cicada behaviour. Whenever they think you're looking for them, they shut up and concentrate on being invisible). A few more steps to check behind the door were accompanied by a few more chirrups from somewhere nearby. Stop by the door and immediately the chirruping stopped too. This pattern repeated a few more times. Walk, chirrup, stop, silence! Walk, chirrup, stop, silence!

Addidas hot weather track pants have an inner mesh or gauze layer to wick sweat away from the thighs. Worn inside-out by mistake, this mesh or gauze, swishing against itself when you walk, makes a noise exactly like a small cricket or cicada. And it stops when you stand still. You should try it sometime...

Al Khabail Grocery

There are grocers. And there are green-grocers. And it would seem there is at least one pastel-green-grocer, nestled snugly in downtown Doha, somehow keeping its head below the demolition radar. It would almost be camouflaged, if there were anything growing within a hundred yards, apart from children.

Google Plus, Google Plus, Wherefore art thou, Google Plus?

G+ is for Greetings, friend! Seriously though, does anyone still use Google Plus? Apparently, 51 people have me in Circles, which I think means they signed up to be notified whenever I post to G+, which I believe happens automatically every time I publish on Paraplexed blog.
Google Plus was originally set up as a rival and alternative to Facebook, but I've never heard of anyone using it as their main social network. Or am I wrong? Certainly, I never sign into G+ to see what my circles are up to. I think I set up a couple of circles many years ago, family, friends acquaintances, etc., then proceeded to forget all about them. Very occasionally, I'll receive a notification from Google along the lines of "Joey Halibut has added you to Circles", where Joey Halibut is invariably a perfect stranger. Or am I missing something? Is there really a hidden world of Google Plus socialites, encapsulating all civilisation in a giant Venn diagram of interlocking Circles of Excellence? Do tell, (if thou knowst it).

One Small Step for a Chicken

This blog started out as Helga's Chickens. Later, it became The Paranormal Hotel, and more recently, Paraplexed at the Paranormal Hotel. The changes were occasioned by such major events as: Helga's retirement and/or exile to the (now demolished) Rattlesnake, my move from Dubai to Qatar and the final closure (after several aborted mini-closures) of Jockey's Pub.
Well, dear readers, another major event has occurred. I have relocated again, this time from Qatar back to England. Retirement? Not sure yet. Technically, I am a pensioner, having crossed the formal finishing line. But my return home was triggered not by chronology but by a debilitating attack of shingles in the left ophthalmic nerve. If anyone ever offers you this, even on a trial basis, smile sweetly and say no. It hurts a lot, for months.
But that's behind me now, give or take the odd twinge, and with summer drawing to a close, the homing pull of pipe and slippers may very well prove a weak force. Winter may find me gravitating again to foreign parts and sunnier climes. We'll see.
Meanwhile, please note the small but subtle latest renaming of your old friend, the Paranormal Blog.

Thick Escorts, Anyone?

The other day, I received a spam comment which made me laugh. I've deleted the links to sanitise it. It is very much the usual rubbish, but ends spectacularly badly, even for spam. See if you agree.

We encourage you to peruse through our gallery and be dazzled by the beauty of the beautiful girls on Qatar Escorts. Whether you are interested in hiring one for companion, dinner in an intimate Qatar restaurant, you have come to the right site.
What’s more, we have the best girls to accompany you to that corporate function. We have girls that will be on your side for that special occasion and also help you have a real time during a lively night out in doha.
We happily accommodate requests for extended visits; we work with a team of elite escorts who make the best travel companions allowing you to make weekend plans in and out of Qatar.
Pick an escort from our Doha Escorts gallery, and she will cater to your diverse tastes. We have girls of all sizes and looks. From thin, small breasted, big breasted to thick escorts that will fulfil your desires.

Change of Scene

Off on my travels again tomorrow, to Muscat, a place I have never visited. Only one overnight then back to Qatar on Saturday night. Normally, I'd be going to Dubai but our little local difficulty rolls on and Dubai can't be accessed from Doha except by stopping off in Muscat or Kuwait or somewhere even further off. Alternatively, there is the option of a 'luxury' coach from Muscat to Dubai, but apparently that takes four hours. It might be a good way to see the country but would take a huge bite out of a short weekend.

Note to self: One Omani Rial = Ten Qatari Riyals. Beware of overpaying taxis by a factor of ten!

An Alternative Energy Plan

Now, it might be pure coincidence, but a mere three weeks after the second visit to Qatar, in as many months, by the Irish International Alternative Energy (IIAE) Consultant Patrick O'Donohoe (103), from Connemara, the first tentative steps towards establishing a fall-back turf economy are already in evidence. Not that the natural gas is expected to run out any time soon, but as Patrick says, 6 times a day and 8 on Sundays, "A good stack of turf will never let ye down", with the special extra message for Qatar, "Ye're starting a bit late, but that's a fine drying bit of sunshine ye're getting. Ye should make the most of it, before it rains".

Qatar's Transportation Crisis

There are none left on the roads. Or if there are, they are hiding pretty well. Used to be, every time you turned your head there would be an orange monster of a bull-nosed Mercedes truck snarling along the road with a load of demolition rubble or rattling back empty to pick up a new load. They were so much part of the Doha scene that you scarcely noticed them, after a while.

But a couple of days ago, don't know why, it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn't seen one for a while. So, I started to make a point of looking out for them. And sure enough, they have all gone, as if by fatwa or royal edict. It can't just be their age. There are fleets of JACs and MANs (Men?) just as old and ugly and still working. But the bull-nose Mercs had presence and personality. They were fun and, if they have really been scrapped or pensioned off, they will be missed.

As will the aeroplanes, the food and the drinking water. Thanks Donald.

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