Us North Americans seem to be constantly confounded by bidets and seem to have little use for them. Well, in one of those goofy conversations at work today, in a matter of a few moments we came up with these three uses. I hope you find them ‘enlightening!’
They’re great for washing your feet. I walk around in sandals about 300 of the 365 days in the year. It’s hot here and it’s dusty. Doha is a desert after all. And, that means your feet get dirty. So, why make things uncomfortable? There’s no need to get your feet up and into the bathroom sink or to sit on the edge of the bathtub when you can easily use the bidet. Just grab a chair or a stool and you’ll find the bidet to be the perfect height for tender tootsies.
They’re great for hand washing laundry. After all, bidets are nice smooth porcelain bowls with an easy supply of water. No need to clear out your kitchen sink to wash delicate clothes when the bidet is ready for you.
And, for the most inventive use of all –a sound amplifier for your iPhone or iPad! Ever put your iPhone in an empty coffee cup to get more volume out of it? Well – just think what a bidet does for an iPad! You can enjoy your morning shower and hear the latest CBC podcast as clear as if you were standing beside it.
It occurred to me that I hadn’t updated this blog for some time, and I’m wondering if I’m finally getting ‘used’ to things around here. What I am used to is things not making sense, never knowing when someone will spontaneously close their shop doors for the day, the crazy aggressive drivers that drive on sidewalks and on the wrong sides of the roads, etc. etc.
The temperature and humidity are rapidly rising (it was 40C today on April 24) and soon walking outside for more than 5 minutes will be unbearable. But, today, in a friend’s car, we drove past something I saw months ago and it gave my head a shake. I didn’t have my camera then, but I did today.
What you’re looking at is a row of drive through ATMs from every bank in the country. In the middle is the drive through payment kiosk for paying internet and cell phone bills. The ATMs and banking situation is fascinating – I can use any ATM anywhere in Doha and never incur any banking fees. Something about Shari’a banking laws and banks not allowed to charge fees. So, you can lineup all the ATMs and use which ever one you want. And you can line those ATMs up at a gas station (where someone pumps your gas), with a strip mall behind it.
And then there’s that payment kiosk for our internet services. In Canada, we’ve been getting bills for our utilities by email for a few years now. Still, many people continue to get their utility bills in the mail. And in Canada we can get our bills in the mail because we have house addresses. No such thing exists here. Nor do zip codes or postal codes. My apartment building has a name, and nothing more. All I can do is use landmarks and intersections to give taxi-drivers directions. I get absolutely no mail, and nor does anyone else. This city of 2.6 million has more central post office and that’s it.
So – yesterday I got a text message from Ooredoo – the state internet provider – reminding me that my monthly payment was do. I now need to either go to a kiosk and make a cash deposit or go to their online site and do a bank transfer. Because I’ll never get a bill in the mail!
Sorry for the shameless self promotion – but when the Centre for Teaching and Learning highlights what I do as part of my regular in the library and for the library, I just can’t help but share it. They think my colleague and I are great – I just think I’m doing my job. Click on the ‘Information Literacy’ link above to read all about it.
Incredible sand storm. People saying they’ve seen nothing like it in 10 years. The silt is so fine, it has got in everywhere. And, in a country where you don’t need to seal out the cold, there’s a lot of places for sand to get in. The Supreme Education Council closed all schools, colleges and universities (ours included) at 6:15 am this morning. There’s almost no traffic on the streets – the visibility is terrible. It took me the better part of 4 hours to dust, the wash the floors, and dust all the furniture. I tackled the walls and cupboard doors in my kitchen, but gave up with the rest of the walls in the apartment. I’ll have to get my cleaning lady to do some extra work when she comes in next. (Yes, I can’t keep up with the dust and sand and have given in …) The windows are the sliding type and don’t even pose a challenge to all the dust that constantly is swirling in the air. Even my bedroom window, which has a heavy light-blocking curtain, sheers and a decorative heavy fabric curtain, had silt on the window sill, the baseboard and the floor below. My bedside tables were covered with a fine layer of silt. I took down just one of the sheers to wash it and the dust was just flying in the air. There are 7 more sheers to go. Here are some pictures of what we all encountered this morning.