Doha bathrooms have bidets. Even the GAS station bathrooms have them! I'm really not part of the "blame America first" crowd, but public bathrooms in the US could use a serious upgrade ("We're, um, 'Number 1'?") The toilets themselves typically have two flushing buttons. Ok....
Because of its conservative Islamic tradition, public bathrooms are strictly segregated by sex.
front of that machine, and tell me you know what those buttons are for and what the icons mean. I studied them, as if I were translating ancient hieroglyphics (the scholar asks himself "Does that icon represent "no socks"? "add softener?" "take a shower?") I wish the buttons had just been labeled with Arabic, so I could look at them and say "I don't know Arabic". "Universal" icons just made me feel "uniquely" stupid.
My washer is much better. It doesn't clean dishes very well, but at least I understand it. You push one button and it helpfully shows a display: "English?" You push another button and the screen reads "Normal," "Rinse" and so forth. I need to get it to talk with the washer/dryer.
The pictures clearly show that appliances in Qatar are asymmetrical, and pictures don't lie.
The microwave? Like all its tribe, it is a machine of many buttons. As with every microwave, I only need one: I keep pushing the "add 30 seconds" button until whatever I'm cooking explodes inside. Then it's done.
The electrical plugs are pretty cool. They have three prongs and one generally shoves in a universal (!!) three prong adapter; this accepts any power cord, the slut. All outlets do have an "on-off" switch, so the outlet is not hot until you turn it on. This seems like a pretty good idea to me, after I figured out why the iron wouldn't work, my laptop wouldn't charge, etc. unless I turned the power on. But now I know this: I'm almost Qatari!
The pool is simple operate. Jump in. The first two weeks I was here, the pool was not chilled. In fact, the water temperature was exactly 98.6 Fahrenheit, which made me feel like I was swimming in....oh, never mind. But you wouldn't want to swim in it. Today, it was delightfully cool, and breezy. It only lacked women without veils and drinks not from fruit juice bottles. (Surely some literary style allows for repetitive elements running through the chapters, right?)
Here I am, trying to figure out how to use my appliances.
I would have posted a picture of my camera, too, but it is not autophotographical.