Sandstorms… not a fan

I’m not sure exactly when it was that I experienced my first sandstorm… I think it might have been early January. All I know is it feels like the sandstorms have been going on forever now!!

I struggle to recall what a blue sky looks some days. And what is this color green? I vaguely remember it…

Obviously I knew when I moved to Saudi Arabia, that sand would be a very constant and persistant part of life here. And I really don’t mind the heat or the dryness or the sand even… but I really don’t like all the dust and sand in the air!!

The first few sandstorms I experienced weren’t that bad at all… the sky slowly became grey and the air was definitely dusty… you could taste it almost… and after a few days it would clear up and the sky would be a soft blue again.

But one day… the sand came in like a wall into the city from the desert… the wind was so strong…

I was at work when the storm moved in. Suddenly the room grew dim, and the sky outside was so dark. Lights came on even though it was still only mid-afternoon… and all you could really see was a bit of hazy yellowy-orange light. We had to wear masks on our brief walk home even because there was so much dust and sand in the air. It inspired an immediate coughing/sneezing fit if you dared exit a building without a mask on!

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We looked like little bugs with our blue masks and sun glasses to protect our eyes from the biting sand!

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From the rooftop of my apartment building, I could see the buildings in the immediate distance… maybe 500 feet away, but everything after that was gone. Grey. Brown. Nothing on the horizon.

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It’s very erie almost. The sand and dust muffle the sounds of traffic and all sounds of city life so that all you really could hear was the wind blowing, rustling leaves… and sand hitting any objects in its path. Almost like the way a snowstorm sounds… but not as quiet and gentle…

And as night falls… it’s even odder as lights are so dim…

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Needless  to say. Sitting through a sandstorm is an incredible experience. Not one I’d ever dreamed I’d have at a point not so long about. But now I’m here in Saudi and the sand and dust storms have been a very persistant part of life of late.

And now I’m definitely over it. Been there. Seen that. Done that… done that being… run in the dust storms… dance the night away at a pool party even in the sand storm… and wait for the rain to settle the dust after a dust storm…

After almost 10 months in Saudi, my lungs have finally admitted defeat. I thought I just had a bugger of a virus… but after about 3 weeks of coughing and sneezing my life away… I realized the awful truth… I probably have developed a bit of a dust allergy. A Salbutamol puffer is now my constant companion… and Strepsils are probably my best friend also! On the plus side… I have abs again from all the coughing??!

And that’s enough about the sand.

It does end eventually. Like one day after a sandstorm… I woke up to this… With the moon still lingering in the early morning sky…

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And then… I remember… It’s really not a bad life here at all and can be remarkably gorgeous some days!! And when the blue sky is back and the warmth of the sun melts into my bones… I love it here!!

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