Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Tuesday’s Dust Storm

I didn’t think Tuesday’s dust/sand storm was that bad – I was out, driving here and there (and everywhere LOL); you could see about a hundred meters, enough to stop. I was on side streets, mostly, not going all that fast and I never felt like it was that bad. I didn’t even think the tiny bit of rain we got was a problem (we need rain so badly) until I saw the outside of my car; it looked like I’d driven from Dakar to Paris; it looked hmmm. . . weathered!

My first sand storm was in Doha, Qatar. My niece and I were grocery shopping, and suddenly we saw people outside with their gutras and scarves wrapped around their faces like Lawrence of Arabia (you don’t see that a lot here.) When we went out, it was gritty. The air was full of sand, but you could still see.

Using our worst judgement, we decided to go driving along the Corniche. Hunhhh – there wasn’t a lot of traffic; we had the roads pretty much to ourselves and the wind was whipping and the sand got thicker and thicker and everyone we saw was covering their faces – at some point, good judgement kicked in and we crawled slowly back home, exhilarated with our sandstorm adventure. It really was a sand storm. There were drifts of sand all over the road.

In Kuwait, the grit is a lot smaller. These are mostly dust storms – your face is stiff and tight if you are out for any length of time, and I find I am having to wash my hair all the time, even twice a day, if I have to go out, because it is like my fine hair has suddenly gone coarse – the layer of dust adheres to hair and makes it thick and tangly.

Here are a couple photos from the dust storm on Tuesday:

I love the lushness of the palm trees thickly surrounding this mosque.

I love it that private citizens put up these sabilles, to provide drinking water to the thirsty. I love it even more when the sabille is beautiful, fun, or unusual in some way that takes it out of the merely serviceable and into the realm of imagination. This is a take-off on the huge Kuwait water towers, unique to Kuwait, a symbol of the city.

March 13, 2009 - Posted by | Adventure, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Women's Issues |


  1. Ahhhhhhh the memories πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ :)! My photos from that day definitely have a sandy cast, but I still thought it a wonderful introduction to the city.

    I remember a sandstorm in Beirut, in the summer of 2007, that I believe came from KSA. I don’t remember actual sand on the ground, but the sky was a saturated mustard – very eerie.

    I read that this latest sandstorm has disrupted much of the Gulf’s shipping – wonder whether the shelves will be a bit barer for the next week?

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | March 13, 2009 | Reply

  2. It’s not so funny, Little Diamond, things have been disappearing from the shelves since Ramadan. My personal theory is that stores stop re-ordering for the lean summer months, but I think this year, the stores are leaner than usual, sandstorm or no.

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 13, 2009 | Reply

  3. I hope it’s cleared up…

    Comment by Bu Yousef | March 13, 2009 | Reply

  4. It’s been hazy, Bu Yousef, but it rolled back mid-afternoon today, Friday the 13th. Hope it will stay away for a couple days; I think I am allergic to it or something; I think it gives me a weird headache.

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 13, 2009 | Reply

  5. is this coming back or that’s it?!!

    Comment by Ali | March 14, 2009 | Reply

  6. Oh my god! Thank God I am not there! I’d rather have rain that drenches me down to my bones than this!!! :p

    Comment by Chirp | March 14, 2009 | Reply

  7. No, Ali, that was last Tuesday. But because we haven’t had a lot of rain, I am guessing we can expect more of the same. 😦

    Chirp! How are you? Hope your little toesies aren’t frozen off – or turned into webbed feet with all the rain!

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 14, 2009 | Reply

  8. I’m good! how are you?? LOL the crazy freeze is over, and all 10 toes are accounted for thank God! πŸ™‚

    Comment by Chirp | March 15, 2009 | Reply

  9. I’m fine, too, thanks for asking. It’s getting HOT here, Chirp. Imagine, today was hot and dusty. 😦

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 15, 2009 | Reply

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