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Sunday, May 22, 2005

It's a Gas!

One of the things you might find a bit strange if you ever come here to live, is that there is no mains gas (except in Sharjah, and I don't know how prevalent that is - it's a fairly new innovation). What we do have is fleets of highly-explosive red trucks whizzing around the place delivering bottles of the stuff.

We only use gas for the cooker, and we used to get through 3 medium-sized bottles a year. Since we got the rocket-science microwave/grill/convection oven last year, the gas oven is seldom used. There was a tradition in our house that the gas would run out halfway through cooking the world's biggest turkey, but it was OK because the deliverers weren't celebrating Christmas.

Anyhoo, the gas finally expired yesterday, 4 months later than expected. And I completely forgot to do anything about it until just now when I started trying to cook dinner. I've phoned a gas supplier and it will be delivered within half an hour. The amazing thing about this is the price - it's maybe Dhs 50 for a medium-sized bottle that will last us at least six months. My only point of comparison on this is living in England 12 years ago where we had a gas oven and gas central heating, and we were paying several hundred pounds a quarter for gas.

Probably the gas is so much cheaper because they don't have to maintain a massive piped distribution system, and the delivery guys get paid almost nothing.

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