In the first inkling of the khamsin headed our way, the skies have turned a dull orange. A veil of fine red dust hangs in the air, a warning that the Saharan sands are flying north.
I know the drill. We are hit by the sand storm at least once every summer. The slatted wooden shutters have to be pulled close first, then the glass panes. When this is done, I run around the house drawing the thick curtains. The red dust will still find its way inside and coat the inside of our house; so that afterward, I would have to spend the day shaking out rugs and cushions.
What a colossal waste of a beautiful summer Friday… I grumble. It is the weekly off for my parents… a day we were to spend on the beach. Instead here I am, pushing a tape in the VCR and hoping that the storm doesn’t trip the power.
The busy neighbourhood has gone quiet. I imagine all my friends holed up in their houses, knowing that they will be as bored as I. But already, we can hear the roar of the billowing wall of sand. No-one dare step out. Not unless they want the sand to choke their lungs and scrape the skin off their bones.
Later, the scene outside will resemble a sandy graveyard instead of a happy beach-side town. Even the cars parked on the road will be buried under metre-high mounds of sand. Then we will play Map, trying to locate the streets.
Plumes of desert sand
Levitating above ground
How do camels live?
Each year, these sandstorms carry millions of tons of dust from the Sahara desert, and these enormous walls rising thousands of feet above ground fly across to Europe, and even travel across the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Its a terrifying phenomenon… one which helps us realize how powerless we are against the might of nature. Heck… did you know, while we hole up in our homes, camels can survive this harshness of weather.
This post is part of the #BlogchatterA2Z 2022.