Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Doha Parking Nightmare

You could think of it as an adventure, as adventure can cause the same heart-slamming rush of adrenalin. Little Diamond and I were late to the fabric souks area, looking for a match to some pants she has loved and needs copied, as they have irrevocably split in a critical area. We circled the Souk al Diraa multiple times, hoping a spot would open up, one of a couple hundred cars circling, hoping for a spot.

Sharp-eyed Little Diamond spotted a sign for public parking. I’ve never noticed it before – it led us to a building in front of which I often park, it is now totally empty of stores. There is a sign as you enter the parking, which is all above ground, that “only Ministry personnel” can park on the first level.

We had started up the winding ramp when after two curves, we were in total dark. I have my sunglasses on, and I am desperately trying to get them off, but even when I get them off, I can’t see, we are in total darkness on an upward twisting ramp and all I can think of is what if someone is coming up in a hurry behind me and hits me???

“The light! Turn on the car lights” shouts Little Diamond, who is allowed to shout at me when she gives me good ideas. Oh yeh! Car lights . . . since I have never driven this car at night, I don’t exactly know where they are, but I make a guess and thanks be to God, the lights come on and we crawl up two more levels until we begin to see some light appear.

We check out every level – every level is full. On level three, we finally find a spot, and hurry down the filthy stairs to check out fabrics so we can get back to the tailor before he closes. As the tailor had said – we cannot find the exact fabric, but we find a fabric which is about a 90% match and that will have to be good enough.

As we head back to parking lot – the surrounding sidewalk is crumbling and one entry is chained off – we find the elevators to take us up. “Not working!” says a man standing nearby, so we head for the nearest stairwell, and almost gag on the way up. I think people maybe sleep in there at night – there are some terrible sights and smells.

00Trash

There are footprints, even high on the walls:

00Stairwell

As we exit the stairwell on our floor, we are met with the sight of a totally burned out car:

00ParkBurnedOutCar

Fortunately, on the drive out, there is no area where the lights are burned out, and we drive comfortably the four levels down to the exit.

I normally get the these souks before nine in the morning and I can always find a parking spot, do my shopping and be out in a couple hours, max. I will NEVER, NEVER again, park in this parking lot. I would forego a visit to the souks rather than park in this parking lot again. It is a danger to your health!

July 17, 2009 - Posted by | Adventure, Doha, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Living Conditions, Qatar, Rants

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