18 december 2009 thursday
walk out of the ofice trailer and you can feel the impending rain. isn't this a desert? already this morning there have been two torrential downpours and sure enough, the tin roof of the restroom calls out the first drops and then it's a cacophony of sheets of rain. we run through the sand and mud.
it doens't feel like the earth here. it feels like they've colonized the moon. and as robert said to me--they built it, they continue to build--construction in all directions--even though it sits empty. they colonized the moon before anyone was ready to come.
today is national qatar holiday. the flags are everywhere. cars are covered with them. incessant traffic. the cars all all luxury and suv's. and they are all driven by men. an avalanche painted in glittery burgundy to mimic the flag rolls by. just for today?
note: i did not take this picture, but it's very representative of what i saw. except i never saw such a normal car. only luxury here.
i was picked up from the airport in a damn jaguar for chrissake!
but i couldn't take pictures. my camera doesn't leave the hotel because it would be confiscated....bummer.
the roads run straight like arteries through the expanse of flat desert. on either side, ceremonial tents have been erected just for today, surrounded by rims of uphostered armchairs and a sea of carpets. horses and camels stand waiting. camels.
and men in their distinctive dress. banners depicting someone royal. the sheik? someone we will serve.
the desert spans around us endless. paperflat, without vegetation. subdivisions stand empty. there is no sense of supply and demand. just supply. surplus.
all is orderly. there is no chaos.