So there is a list of things, none of which are good, that you are told when you first arrive in Doha are "Ifs and not Whens". Well I had my first when last night.
I have never been the best at checking the air pressure in my car tires and moving to Doha did not change my habits. I get in the car I look at the tires and think "Hmmmm, they don't look to bad, if has been a while though, I will get them looked at soon." This can go on for a while with me.
Earlier this week, I bought a really nice water color from a "local" artist. She is an expat and the watercolor is of flowers and fun a whimsical, just my style. I have learned from buying art in the past that if you do not frame it right away it will get tucked away for what can be years, so these days I go very quickly and get my art framed. So on Friday afternoon I headed out to Studio Qatar on Salwa at Decoration Roundabout (RA).
Lets talk for a minute about Salwa at Decoration RA. This is an intersection that I avoid LIKE THE PLAGUE. It is under construction and also happens to be a very busy RA. It is a mess. On top of the construction at the RA they are also ripping up the road itself for a couple miles on both sides. This makes accessing the stores on the road, including Studio Qatar a mess. After some attempts and failures to find access to the store, I finally make it, having to basically take the X-Terra through a combat zone to find a spot to park, thinking along the way, boy am I glad that I have a 4-wheel drive car.
I spend some time at Studio Qatar and figure out great mats and frames and then headed to Mega Mart to pick up some items for dinner as some friends were coming over. Mega Mart is like Whole Foods in the States only because it could take your Whole Paycheck to buy groceries. Mega Mart caters to the ExPat communities and you can find US, UK and other brands at a totally jacked up price. As an example a small bottle of Amy's Lite Gingerly Salad dressing that I just bought cost about $6 where in the States it would be about $3. I tend to go there as I have found that they have the best apples and meat (yummy Aussie Beef!).
So I was on my way home and the universal light for flat tire started lighting up. I thought that was funny as I just had air put in my tires and the guy who did it mentioned that my pressure was super low, which I had expected. I thought that maybe the sensor was off and I would need to get that looked at by the Nissan Dealer.
Well I made it home and started prepping for dinner with John and Heather who just moved to Doha from Houston. John and Heather are runners, with John doing more distance and he runs my pace. Hooray! I had told them to come on over at 6:30 for dinner and due to the way that our compound is set up it is easier to come through the underground garage to get from their place to mine. So when I opened the garage door, John and Heather were there to say hello and was I aware that my tire was flat. This tire was not just flat, but FLAT!!!! What a bummer. As it was the evening and there was nothing that could be done we went in and have a lovely dinner and evening, with John and I planning to run in the morning.
Sunday morning rolled around (Hooray for three day weekends and Happy Qatar National DAY) and John and I went out for a run. On the way back I asked if he would help get the spare on the car. He was very kind to oblige.
So we went down to the garage to get to work. So we found the spare, which is under the car in the back and found where we had to crank to get the wheel down, what we did not find was the jack and the equipment to actually do that process. We finally got the manual out to see if it listed the location, thank goodness it did, otherwise I would have never found it as it was under the seats in the back. Yes, under the seats.
So we finally get the spare tire down and start jacking up the car. Here is a picture with the car already lifted a bit and you can see how flat the tire is without the full weight of the car:
Well, we finally got the car high enough to get the tire off, unfortunately it was not high enough to put the spare on. We tried to get it to fit by letting some of the air out of the tire, but alas that did not work either. We stewed for a bit and then decided it was worth the risk of driving the car on the flat tire to get to a flatter surface as my parking spot has a small incline.
So it was back on with the flat, flat tire and a very slow roll back to a flatter spot. We then jacked up the car again to get the spare on and guess what! You guessed it the stupid tire still did not fit. ARGH. We let out some more air and we were finally able to get the spare on. At that point we had let quite a bit of air out of the tire and we thought that it would be a pretty good idea to get at least some pressure in the tire before removing the jack, so what did we do, we got out the handy dandy bike pump.
Please enjoy the hilarity:
Let me tell you this is actually quite the workout. It made me think of a rowing machine. After I would guess was a few minutes, we thought that it would be decent and let the car down. While the tire was still flat (there was no way I was going to fill with a bike pump), it was not horrible and it could make it around the corner to the gas station (which I was not sure was open due to National Day). Luckily it did not have to as I got a text from a friend and she let me know that the compound had an air compressor, which she had learned the hard way herself, BOOOO. The compressor was not great, but it got the tire to a decent point, so that was good for me.
So I now have a mostly full tire which I will get looked at tomorrow. I am fortunate as my neighbor is in the US for the holiday and Hip Replacement, so I have his car keys so that I can start it every once and a while, well I am going to more then start the car tomorrow. Thank you so much David!!!! Tomorrow after work I will take the car in to have the tires looked at and see if the old one can be salvaged. I am very lucky that the car did not go flat until I got home and that there are amazing people that live at ARV and are willing to help in a time of need.
So that is my first major "If and not When". When the next one happens you will get the joy of reading about it here.
Have a good one!