Friday, January 3, 2014
Hello Qatar, goodbye Qatar
After a ten hour flight we we are about to touch down in Qatar. I don't even really know where Qatar is. I mean I've looked it up on a map - it's a gulf state, but that's all I know about it. Yet the pilot is welcoming us. Looking out over the city the lights look like some weird luminous mother board. I can't make out what the lights might be. Maybe they the are of mine sites or perhaps residential compounds. But what is more mysterious is the black space in between the lights. Maybe that is where Qatar's unique culture dwels, modest and timeless. Where the lights are sparse they could be stars. Hang on. Sink back in the seat. Breath. Stars are up, lights and land below. The truth is that this country is as unknown to me as the rest of the universe. I feel struck by this. Maybe it's because we are such seldom travellers I think it's strange to be so transient. Does all this travel we enjoy today really facilitate cultural exchange? Not for us and Qatar. Hello, goodbye. I like your shiny airport.