THESE flat, concrete roofs are cool considering the howling northerly wind at 50km/h that's going on right now. No flying roof tiles or any such threats. I actually feel safe.
We're currently in the midst of a dust storm since Friday. The weather report projects that the storm will last till Wednesday. While it's not uncommon to have dust storms here, I've never experienced a case of constant strong winds that last for days before in my life. Given the landscape, the wind brings with it tiny sand particles that layer as dust in our homes. No matter how shut you think your house is, the dust has a way to get in and line your panties (figuratively speaking that is!). The particles are that fine, as fine as how your best loose powder should be.
My cable TV has been gone since Saturday and the Internet is trippy. Outside, well, it's dusty, sandy and windy. Imagine standing next to a helicopter with its blades still running. Sometimes the wind is that intense. It makes perfect sense why the locals wear the all-covering robes that they do: the covers let the sands slide off them without getting onto the body. Sand in the eyes or nasal passage is like drowning in a pool of sand I imagine.
The first video from top was taken by me. I suck at it but you see the moving sands. The second clip was by a friend. A much better video. Notice the waves. It's like they're alive. They dance and twirl, and, fly and flip, and, hover and crawl, it's both magical and dangerous. In worst cases, a storm obstructs visibility, making driving difficult. Needless to say speeding on this condition can cause accidents. Too much sand on the driveway reduces grip.
|(From left) Notice the thick layer of dust on the balcony sofa. |
The pool is a mess with sand at the bottom and floating debris.
|I washed this jar just yesterday. See the dust on it this morning.|
|The temperature today on a pix taken during a calm, clear day.|
During a strong wind two weeks ago, my friend and I experienced a scary 'turbulence' while sitting in our immobile car in an empty, open parking lot at West Bay, Doha. I mean the car shook like it was being possessed. The trees outside were flailing crazy like they were going to come off the ground any time and drag us with them. I almost saw my life flash before me. We held hands and sat still till calm returned and the tall, date palms went back to looking normal.
"What the hell was that?"
"I don't know. Sure felt like an earthquake. Let's get out of here before the Tsunami".
We were by the bay after all.
Thinking back, I'm grateful that I'm inside this flat-roofed box of a house right now. I can deal with the threatening panty-lining dust later.
I don't think I've ever seen fresh dates on a tree
before coming here.