Title: If the Sun doesn’t kill you, the Washing Machine will
Author: Peter Wood
Transported by his employer to work in the Middle East, Peter Wood became enmeshed in the bizarre and hilarious lifestyle of the desert state of Qatar. In this book he reveals how the most mundane operations of daily life can prove bafflingly complex as he describes the driving test that involves reversing round an obstacle course for 30 minutes, the elaborate weather forecasts in a country where the weather is the same for 364 days a year, and the country’s first takeaway pizza restaurant, which is impossible to locate.
The events in this book occurred in the early 1990s when the author arrived to help set up the natural gas processes. Some of the lifestyle described may be dated now but somehow I think that the laid back; it will happen when it happens; attitude will still be in place despite the fact that Qatar is now very much a bustling modern country and as of 2007, oil and natural gas revenues had enabled Qatar to attain the highest per capita income in the world. While Peter Wood was able to relate some of the funny quirks of the people he came across he never did it with malice. The fact that he totally respected the people of the country he was living in was obvious. He pointed out that in England crime was very high with senseless murders and disrespect yet this was not happening in Qatar. He intimated that the citizens knew there were consequences for committing crimes, and there were little in the way of consequences in Britain. I can totally relate to how he describes cars zooming along a highway then suddenly all pulling over so that prayers can be said. I lived in another African country where the same thing happens, it sounds far-fetched to people who have never been but it is SO true. Loved the goats, chooks and cats – one poor puss came to a sad end which lead to half of the title. You will have to see for yourself if it was the sun or the washing machine that helped poor puss into her next life. A quick, light entertaining read, very interesting.
Rating: C – Above average. Was very readable and enjoyable