Friday, July 29, 2011

Doctors & Hair Salons

So after sitting at home for three days, I decided I absolutely had to go into the office on Wednesday and get some work done.

I showed up, our Wellness Officer took one look at me, listened to me cough and said, "We're going to the clinic." She was concerned that what was settling in my chest was turning into pneumonia.

Seriously...pneumonia in summer in a desert climate? Leave it to me.

So we trundled off to the QF clinic. I saw a lovely doctor who took my temp (which was down, thankfully--it had spiked back up the night before when I fell to sleep, forgetting to take a dose of meds), listened to my chest and agreed that developing pneumonia was a possibility.

So she prescribed me meds. Lots and lots of meds.

I walked out of the pharmacy with: amoxicillin, cough medicine, Advil Cold and Flu, throat spray, and Claritin. And I didn't pay a cent.

You've got to give credit where credit is due--the medical powers-that-be certainly certainly aren't stingy with that kind of thing.

So I muddled through work on Wednesday and Thursday, coughing and rasping out to coworkers, "Don't come near me, I'm sick!"  Smart people that they are, they kept their distance. 

But Thursday night I had a hair appointment. I'd made it three weeks before and given the mess a certain other salon had made of my hair last month, I was more than ready to see a stylist.  I just couldn't cancel.

The salon I visited this time, Glow, is known for being western-style and expensive. I'd say that's fair. I liked them, though. My stylist was an American and very skilled, their products are high quality and the salon itself was clean and nicely laid out (though I agree with my stylist--they have miserable lighting!).

It's in a villa just off Salwa Rd, not far from my apartment. Salwa is a very busy, main drag that is six lanes wide in spots.  Traffic whizzes by and this close to the industrial area, many of the vehicles are large, vaguely threatening looking trucks. 

Like many businesses in Doha, Glow is tricky to find at first. Here are the directions, taken directly off their site:

Located just off of Salwa Road. After passing through Decoration Round-about, you will pass the Mercedes Benz dealership on your right hand side. You will then pass Za Boutique which is connected to the Mercedes dealership. Take the first right after the Mercedes and Za, between two new construction buildings. (The road is new and currently unpathed, so look for a rough dirt road.) Go straight and we are in Villa #10 on your left hand side. Look for the big “Glow” sign on the top of the building. We are near Dr. Sarah Dentistry, and next door to Curves.

Even with this, I got lost.  I didn't see Za, connected to the Mercedes dealership.  But I did see an unpaved road, so I took it.  It spit me out in back of the Mercedes dealership in the middle of a construction site (which, as I've mentioned before, is not uncommon in Doha).  The area was kind of like a loading dock with construction as a barrier instead of a fence.  After winding past concrete barricades, searching for Villa 10, I gave up and called the salon.  They were able to guide me the rest of the way.

The block of villas where Glow is located faces a large open field where more villas are being built.  It's been cleared, but there's not much construction activity yet.  There really aren't a lot of people out there except for the few getting their hair cut/teeth cleaned/hips slimmed.  To get from the street to the villa (And I should probably explain--when I say villa, I mean a free standing house with a high walled courtyard in front.  This is a very common kind of construction in Doha both for private homes and for businesses.), I had to walk across an unpaved, rocky/sandy stretch before crossing a narrow planked bridge, walking over some more sandy/rocky stuff and entering the courtyard.  Not so tough in the light (though your feet get dirty).

However, at 7:00pm, which is when my appointment ended, it's pitch dark in Doha.  I walked out of this very nice, modern building and into utter blackness.  To make matters worse, the humidity last night had to be 60% or more, so my glasses instantly fogged.  So I'm standing in the dark, blinded, while in the distance (not that far, really!), I can see the neon lights of Salwa Rd.  I muttered, "This should be interesting" and went oh-so-carefully on my way. 

Did I mention I was wearing heeled sandals?  Yeah.  I didn't want to make things too easy.

Tiptoeing along reminded me of camping when you're basically feeling your way to the outhouse at night.  Only then I would have had a flashlight.  Still, I made it, only twisting my ankle once.  I will say this though--the handrail on that bridge thingy wasn't the sturdiest thing ever.

My hair looks great.  I made my appointment for next month.  It's for 11:00am on a Friday. That should get me out of there while the sun still shines.

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