Sunday, March 4, 2012

True Grit

We've been overcome by beige.

I'm sitting in my beige house, looking out the window at my beige car, typing on a computer that sits on a formerly black countertop (now beige).  And no, I haven't been transported to a movie set for some monochromatic art house film.  I'm living in a dust bowl.

For the past four days, and for several days each week in the last, oh, I don't know, eternity, the wind has been blowing in Doha.  I'm not talking about a gentle ocean breeze, brought across the Gulf and carrying with it the smell of salt air and a bit of humidity.  This is a full-on, nasty wind, either blowing directly from the north, or from the west, where it has spent enough time over land to lose any moisture and gentle beach vacation memories that it may have once carried with it.  And when the wind hasn't been blowing, there is a haze that hangs in the air that would rival Toronto on a summer day.

I suppose I should be thankful that we're not under a layer of sand.  Most of the sand stayed behind.  What we get instead, coating the kids' bikes, my petunias, and any slow-moving cats wandering down our street, is what gets up and leaves after the wind beats the living daylights out of the sand:  dust.

Some aspects of this weather remind me of a good old-fashioned Canadian snowstorm:  the howling wind, the stuff being blown across roads in spidery fingers, the decreased visibility, and the desire it brings with it to stay indoors.  But even the indoors is not impervious to the dust.  A book or a piece of paper left on a table will, in a matter of hours, leave its exact shape, chalk-outline style, on the surface once removed.  Just yesterday, I lost Dan for about 15 minutes while he was having a nap on the couch.

We're all cranky.  I can tell you that it's not pleasant to have dust up your nose, and at the back of your throat, and forming a fine film of grit on your front teeth.  The novelty of using my windshield wipers to brush away a layer of dust every time I get in the car in starting to wear off, too.

It'll be 40 degrees Celsius before we know it, and the humidity will be so high we'll have to swim to our cars.  I'm going to try to get rid of all the sand in my teeth before that happens.  I know visibility is poor, but try to follow the sound of my voice:  "Pbblt.  Pwah.  Blech."

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