Saturday, June 30, 2007


So now that my flu is gone I guess life decided that it would be a great time to follow it up with bronchitus. I've been coughing for nine days now but I finally went to the doctor (a different one than the vitamin pusher I went to for the RSI). Once a chest X-ray determined that bronchitus was the likely culprit I was perscribed an antibiotic and two meds. Hopefully that'll clear everything up because it really is an annoying cough.

Doctors here appear to lack the bedside manner of North American ones. Maybe it is the language issue, almost every doctor listed in the Yellow pages has an Arabic name so I assume most of them are Egyptian or Lebanese. If English is not your first language then I guess it would be difficult to chat with an English-speaking patient. Thus, both doctors that I have seen since I have been here have been very "down-to-business" and discussions of my symptoms are short. Examinations and tests seem to be the route of choice. At least the recent one wasn't big on vitamins.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Truth or rumour

Yesterday's newspaper had a front page story about, get this, that the Nepalese embassy was investigating rumours that a Nepalese man was killed and eaten by his Vietnamese coworkers!

Does this scream "urban legend getting out of hand" to you? It did to me. And why is it always people from Southeast Asia who are connected to eating unusual things in these legends? And why was the embassy investigating and not the police (though the original story did say that "rumour had it" that people were arrested and had confessed to the crime).

Well the story created enough buzz that a follow up story had to be published so far it's just a rumour. I think it helps that there is not even an identity of the supposed victim, nor who these supposed people who confessed to the crime were. Well, if anything else happens on this I'll let you know.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Yikes, it's been a week-plus since my last post. I was out sick for a few days with a flu, and I've still got a cough from it. It had been keeping me off the net because when I get sick with a flu I do nothing but sleep. I think during my worst day (around last Tuesday) I was only up five of six hours total during a 36-hour period.

So what's been happening?

Work has moved into a new office building. I generally like the new digs better than the previous one. We'll see in a few weeks when all the annoying things start to emerge.

My friend David stopped by from London for a couple of days on business. Thankfully this was after I had recovered from the flu since he was crashing at my place. Pretty much just went out for dinner and drinks with friends both nights, not much else to do in Doha in the summer.

I have my July vacation sorted out, a nine-day trip split between London and Paris. I've never been to Paris before so I'm really looking forward to it. My friend Janel from Bermuda will be along as well. I definately need to brush up on my French before I go, I've lost a lot of it over the years (not that I was ever that great in it to begin with)

My friend Mary will be stopping by for a few days en route to London from Nepal. Mary has spent the last four months doing charity work near Katmandu so I can't wait to hear about how that went.

Annnnnnd, it's damn hot here, not that one would expect anything less.

That's it for now. As I have recovered I should be updating the blog more frequently again.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What is in a name . . .

One thing I have noticed about my name, Glen McKay, is that many non-English languages cannot handle it. 'Gl' is not a sound in some languages and 'McK' is a combination of letters that most languages just do not have. So what in English is a fairly simple name becomes a bit of a letter-twist to everyone else.

Case in point: Japanese. 'Gl' is not a sound in Japanese, in fact they don't have a 'L' at all. So the best Japanese could do with my name is Guren Makae (gu-ren ma-ka-ay) because if you say it fast Guren sounds similar to Glen (Grren!).

Well I've just found out that Arabic also has issues with my name. A renewal notice for my car insurance arrived at the office the other day (all my mail is sent to the office because Qatar does not have home mail delivery). The mailguy at the office didn't know what to do with it so he gave it to someone, who thought it might be for me and gave it to me, while other coworkers advised me not to open it because there was "no way that was for me". But sure enough it was. I think my name got translated to Arabic in a database then someone at the insurance company retranslated it back into English. It doesn't help that in Arabic almost every consonant has a vowel after it.

It was addressed to . . .

Ready . . .

Jaline Makay!

Just call me 'Jal' ;-)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Brief updates

Cyclone Gonu has so far killed 60+ people in Oman and Iran :-(

Hands are feeling better, so I don't think there is permanent damage.

I just moved office buildings today, issues with the A/C but otherwise I think things will work out ok.

And it's damn hot outside now. The peak heat of summer has begun.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cyclone Gonu

A friend in Houston emailed me to ask if I'll be okay due to Cyclone Gonu hitting the Arabian peninsula. It was the first I had heard of the storm, but after searching online it is a nasty storm. It is hitting the coast of Oman before moving up to Iran. Such storms are rare in the Arabian peninsula, the last one recorded in Oman was I think in the 1940s. Thankfully that's about 600km from me, so no, the storm will not affect me at all. Hope people in Oman are okay though.

As an aside on the carpal tunnel, it is getting better, but I misnamed it. I should have said Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), carpal tunnel is a form of RSI that is not usually caused by keyboard & mouse use (instead it is the RSI common amongst guitar players).

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Carpal Tunnel!

Bad news, I may be coming down with carpal tunnel syndrome in my left wrist. Wrist had a dull pain all through Friday, likely from too much computer use. It’s feeling about 90% now - two days later - so I’m going to get it checked out by a doctor. In the meantime blog postings will have to be short & sweet to minimize computer use and let the arm rest.