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You know it’s spring time in the Middle East when:

The sky is so blue it hurts your eyes and the beige buildings suddenly and inexplicably look a bit orange

The versatile tribe of ants who live in my cupboard is back in business

The trees are in bloom

Young girls have traded their high heel boots for open toe pink pumps 

Headscarves are getting higher and higher and pinker and pinker  

Taxi drivers leave all windows open and a flag flying over the driver’s window (a smart and patriotic way to get the breeze in while keeping the sun out)

More young men lean against walls engaged in chatting, smoking, staring, laughing or any other vertical leisurely employment they can think of

Little sun birds are courting energetically and tiny feathers drift over yesterday’s cup of coffee left on the balcony

The man who sells peanuts is not wearing his woolen hat

The white-clad men smoking argyllas and speaking to similar looking men on their i-phones instruct the waiters to remove the cellophane lid that has enveloped the terrace since November

The street cats look fluffy and purposeful as they patrol the bins (on top of which they occasionally fall asleep in the sun)

The sugar cane juice hut has more customers than the falafel place next door