Our five year adventure in Doha, Qatar ended June 1, 2012, but the memories will always remain. It's back to Texas where I have decided...Qatar isn't cornering the market on "quirky", as I once believed. Thanks for opening my eyes to the world, Doha!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Introducing Kumar

It's time to introduce my cute little gardener, Kumar, to you. He's a young Srilankan, here in Doha to make money to send back to his homeland. By our standards the money he makes here would be poverty level, but I'm sure by his home country's standards, he's fairly well off. He actually works for our compound as I guess what one would call the ground crew. I saw him one day, standing on our cement fence trimming our neighbor's tree and I went out and told him that our tree need trimming, as well. It blocked half of the patio with branches hanging to the ground. He said that he would come by the next day. I was so happy to catch him, because sometimes I just hate going through all those proper channels of calling the office and scheduling it. And who knows when they'd show up, I'd probably be out doing the tea tour when they did. So anyway, Kumar shows up the next day at 1:00pm. Uh oh, if you don't know what that means, I'll let you in on it. The majority, if not all, of the working class shuts down between the hours between 1:00 and 4:00pm. Are you following me? This is on my dime, not the compounds. Kumar's a hustler, he's no dummy. After trimming the tree for about thirty minutes, he finagles a couple of days pay (for him) out of me. Then we strike a deal for him to clean out what's supposed to be a flower bed and plant some foliage and flowers in it. I won't say where he finds the plants, but they sure look like the ones that the compound uses in their beds. Upon completion of the beautiful new bed, Kumar says, "Madame, do you need me to clean your patio...only 150QR." I'm not so sure that's a bargain, but who could turn his sweet smile down. Hired. He starts his cleaning ritual by sweeping the pavers with a couple of palm fronds that he proudly stores in the nook of the tree. He sprays down my table and chairs along with the back glass doors. Then inch by inch, he sprays away the sand built up on the patio with a water hose with no nozzle, directing the spray the old fashioned way using his thumb . He does the same in the front carport area to complete the job. He comes by every week or two to repeat his ritual. I have to say what makes it worthwhile for me is that Kumar drops in EVERYDAY to water the plants that he proudly planted. He keeps it weed free and often sweeps the patio when he drops in. And, it's nice to know that he's making a lot of money for him, but it's not a lot of money for me. Multiply that times quite a few nice paying Americans in the compound and that makes Kumar quite the entrepreneur.

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