Growing up in the midwest, both Rachel and I have been through some pretty crazy weather in our lives. We’ve endured our fair share of snowstorms, tornados, thunderstorms, brutal hot days, and even wind chills -40 degrees. We even survived the epic Halloween Blizzard of 1991! Well earlier this week, we experienced a new kind of weather phenomenon . . . . . . a sand storm . . . . and it was nasty!
About 12 pm, the wind started to pick up (maybe about 15-20 miles per hour). Within an hour or so, the entire sky and everything outside had a bright orange tint to it. The color was the result of the sun shining on the tiny sand/dust particles in the air. It was super eeeerry looking, almost like we lived on another planet or something. When you went outside, you couldn’t really “taste” the sand or “feel” it hitting your skin, but you could definitely notice it accumulating in your eyes. After about 5 minutes outside, my eyes were full of sand. It kind of felt like when you wake up in the morning, and you have to pick all of the eye boogers out that Mr. Sandman left you while you were sleeping.
It was fun listening to all of the people gasp and talk about the sand storm. From what I understand, it sounds like they are pretty rare during the fall. They are more prevalent in the spring, and some can get bad enough where the visibility is so bad that it is nearly a “blackout,” which forces the closure of schools, government buildings, businesses, etc. Some locals here said this sand storm was a pretty minor one, so we are a bit intrigued to see what the “severe” storms are like. Probably the worst part about a sand storm, is the mess it leaves behind! The airborne sand finds a way to penetrate through the smallest of cracks around the windows in your apartment, resulting in a thin layer of sand over EVERYTHING! We were fortunate enough and had all of our curtains closed, which helped reduce the mess in our apartment. People also recommend always closing your closet doors and dresser drawers to keep the sand from getting in all of your clothes. Usually my clothes are scattered in random piles on the floor, so it wouldn’t matter if my drawers were closed or not! Check out the crazy orange tint in these photos! Keep in mind that none of them have been edited. They kind of look like someone added a filter to them in Instagram or something, but these are the real deal. Crazy eh? The best part about the sand storm is definitely how some people handled it. There were so many people walking around wearing those protective masks, like the one your doctor wears while he performs your knee surgery. Some people even wrapped toilet paper around their faces and mouths, to protect themselves from the sand. They were just walking around looking like bodiless mummies the week before Halloween! Although everyone probably thought I was the crazy one, because I was just walking around inhaling all of the sand into my lungs.
It was neat to experience our first sand storm, and it was a nice reminder of why we moved to the Middle East . . . . to experience new things! Let it be known that I would much rather experience a 4 hour sand storm than the 5 months of a cold/snowy winter that our family and friends are having back home!