Here She Blows

13 Dec

We haven’t has a proper sandstorm in a while. We had one this afternoon.

This is what it looks like when a few tons of sand from the desert is blown in and dumped on the city.


The sky suddenly turns yellow, a lot like it looks when a thunderstorm is brewing. You can’t help but get a little excited at the prospect of seeing rain. You sit quietly outside and wait to hear the rumble of thunder or spot the first few drops of rain on the paving. Suddenly things get hazy, you rub your eyes thinking you must be a lot more tired than you realised. Nah, can’t be. Luka is sleeping like he’s the captain of the A Sleeping Team, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. It can only be one thing…dust. More dust. You scramble around collecting toys, chair covers, washing, your children and run indoors before it engulfs you and the interior of your home as it drifts in through all the doorways you foolishly left open thinking for a brief moment that you lived in a city not based in the middle of the desert.

Our pooldeck on a relatively dust free day.

Our pooldeck this afternoon:

I know exactly what you’re thinking, you wish you also lived in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and had 7 tons of sand to clean off your patio tomorrow morning.


4 Responses to “Here She Blows”

  1. JamesBrett December 14, 2010 at 3:54 am #

    not envious in the slightest. how in the world does the city clean up all its streets and public places after one of these storms? and how often do they happen?

  2. dustbusting December 14, 2010 at 5:45 am #

    Well, I think that the city is never really clean. I often dream of spraying EVERYTHING with a high-pressure hose, it would be such a satisfying thing to do. But being in the desert means water is in short supply so no hosing down for me anytime soon. There is always a layer of dust on everything and you just have to get used to it. It makes driving really tricky after it has rained as the roads are SO slippery with all the layers of dust that have collected over the months.
    The Kingdom has a workforce like no other in terms of blue collar labourers. They are brought in from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries and these guys do all the manual labour for very little financial reward. But it is a job and is considered to be better than sitting at home unemployed. Basically they just sweep the dust around and change its position!
    We have more sandstorms in summer than in winter and they vary in intensity. We often have a light dust covering every 2 weeks or so but the more intense ones are less regular. Perhaps once ever 2 months or so.

    • JamesBrett December 14, 2010 at 9:29 am #

      all our roads here are made of red dirt, so we end up with a fine film (sometimes not so fine) of red dust over everything in our house. but we do get a lot of rain (during rainy season), so it only hangs in the air at certain times of year. and the local gold mine (south african -owned) drives through town with big water trucks and sprays the roads down sometimes. so that helps.

      but our air isn’t anything like your pictures. have a great christmas in the sand!

      • dustbusting December 14, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

        Yeah, red dust has to be a lot worse. At least we hardly see ours.
        We are heading home to SA for Christmas so it’ll be sunny summer skies for us. Beach sand will be our biggest problem, yay!
        Hope you and your girls have a good christmas too, sir.

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