TOO HOT TO HAN­DLE IN DOHA

Cape Argus - - METRO - RIDWAAN BAWA Twit­ter: @rid­waan­bawa

“THE week­end weather fore­cast is for highs of only 36ºC. I think sum­mer is fi­nally over!”

There’s si­lence on the other end of the line. Even­tu­ally, my mom replies: “Oh my word. We’ve had tem­per­a­tures in the 30s here in Cape Town this week, and it’s been ter­ri­bly hot. How can you say sum­mer’s over in Doha when it’s 36 de­grees out­side?”

I sup­pose my mom’s got a point. But then again, ev­ery­thing’s rel­a­tive. Even the heat. When you’ve had tem­per­a­tures of 45ºC and higher for about five months, 36 is a num­ber to cel­e­brate.

It re­ally has been a long, hot, sum­mer – and that’s be­fore adding hu­mid­ity to the sweaty mix.

After a few min­utes of lis­ten­ing to my mom ex­plain that you still need to wear a jersey at night in Cape Town de­spite the hot days, I end the call and mes­sage Shi­haam.

“We need to take ad­van­tage of the weather cool­ing down, start­ing this week­end. Any ideas?”

I should have known bet­ter than to ask my Virgo wife. The re­ply is al­most in­stan­ta­neous. “I’ve al­ready made a list. We can have some friends over to braai and swim at home, or we could pic­nic in the park, prefer­ably late af­ter­noon, as the sun might still be a lit­tle strong ear­lier in the day.

“The other op­tion would be to go to the aqua park. The kids have

When you’ve had tem­per­a­tures of 45ºC for months, 36ºC is to be cel­e­brated. It’s been a hot, sum­mer – then add hu­mid­ity to the sweaty mix

been ask­ing for a while, and we keep telling them to wait un­til it’s not that hot any more. I guess that day has ar­rived.”

Wel­come to Qatar, where it can ac­tu­ally be too hot to swim dur­ing the peak sum­mer months of June, July and Au­gust, with the pe­riod just be­fore and after not much more ac­com­mo­dat­ing.

It’s why the 2022 World Cup to be held in this Gulf emi­rate has been moved to Novem­ber and De­cem­ber, when the tem­per­a­tures hover in the 20s, and con­di­tions will be much more hos­pitable to fans than dur­ing the un­for­giv­ing sum­mer.

The re­al­ity is that there are only a few months dur­ing the year when the weather is op­ti­mum for out­side ac­tiv­i­ties in Qatar, which is why Shi­haam has pre­pared a list, I sup­pose.

As the sum­mer tem­per­a­tures drop in Doha, the pace seems set to heat up for the Bawas.

“There are also camp­ing trips, desert sa­faris and dhow cruises,” con­tin­ues Shi­haam.

“And, of course, let’s not for­get the beach. We might not have the waves of Muizen­berg, but the kids will love play­ing in the sand and splash­ing in the wa­ter. The best thing is we can en­joy be­ing out­doors at night as well, as the weather will still be warm after sun­set.”

Warm enough to leave the jer­seys at home, I imag­ine. Just don’t tell my mom.

Bawa, a for­mer news­pa­per ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor and mag­a­zine ed­i­tor, is writ­ing a weekly col­umn about the life and ex­pe­ri­ences of a proud South African liv­ing as an ex­pat in Qatar. Fol­low him on Twit­ter @rid­waan­bawa

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