Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Bang bang in the night

There's a building going up across the road from my apartment. It's in the stage Keri dubbed the toothpick stage, with lots of toothpick like scaffolds holding the concrete slabs above the floor slab while the pillars are built. Seems to be how they build them around here. Tonight I got up close and personal with the building and the men building it.

Last night I got very little sleep, there were bang bangs all night as they built the boxing to pour the concrete for the pillars in. Bang bang bang until well after 2am. Each time I thought they'd stopped and I relaxed, bang bang again. It was very reminiscent of Qatar, although here it was one site not several vying for the noisiest.

Tonight I went to dinner with friends, Ilene and Simon, who had returned from Aus today and were heading north tomorrow. It seemed like I might be the perfect person to keep them awake. When I arrived home the bang bang had started again. It's Ramadan and high summer so much of the work does get done at night so I do understand the need for it. Nevertheless off I went to talk to 'boss' on the site.

I suspect I was a bit of a novelty standing on the site in a skirt complete with hand bag and heels. The lads close by came over, young lads from the Indian subcontinent. Maffi English there and unfortunately I don't even have a rudimentary understanding of Urdu, where's Anne when you need her. I somehow made myself understood with gestures, very polite and obviously very amusing gestures.

I said in sign language "I live there (pointing to my apartment block) your bang bang (pointing to their hammer and making the motion) is stopping me from sleeping (hands to the side of my face, eyes closed, then opened)." The puzzled looks slowly changed to looks of enlightenment. After much amusement on both sides, by this time all work had stopped and most of the workers were joining in, agreement was reached. They would bang bang on the other side of the building tonight.

I'm not sure how that's going to help very much but I agreed and we all said goodbye and went back to our places. Them to work and me to hopefully get a good nights sleep. I may just have to resort to the Qatar trick of sleeping in my iPod by the sound of things as I write. There's no bang bang but there seems to be a jack hammer operating, oh well can't have everything my way.

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