Sunday, November 30, 2008

It rained here this past weekend - only for an hour or two on Thursday afternoon. But as those of us who have lived here long enough know, on the infrequent occasion that rain does hit, even what would not be classified as a very heavy rain (in other parts of the world more acquainted with precipitation) leaves behind a picture that somewhat resembles - on the surface at least - the aftermath of a monsoon in places like India or Bangladesh.

By evening, the roads were flooded so badly that in some areas cars more resembled boats as they navigated their way through the tire-deep waters. The empty lot to the left of my house had suffered a mini - landslide and melted into the road, covering it with a thick layer of muddy sand, and the field in front of my house had become a flat glistening lake - which, with the mosque rising behind it, conjured images of the Taj Mahal.

All of this after only a couple hours of moderately heavy rain and wind - I wonder what would have happened if this same rain had lasted a few hours more, or a whole day and am reminded of last January - when George Bush decided to grace the region with his presence. The weekend before, it had rained in Dubai and other parts of the Emirates, but on Monday - which was declared a holiday - or rather we were ordered to stay at home and keep off the roads for security purposes - the sun shone as brightly as ever and GW got exactly the impression of Dubai that they wanted him to get. As soon as he left, the sun went into hiding again and the rain stayed with us for the rest of the week. The aftermath of all of this was several flooded homes and terrible traffic jams caused by accidents, really slow drivers, and cars abandoned in large puddles. The papers reported that "torrential' rains wreaked havoc in the area, but having been there I can accurately state that nothing I would label as a torrential rain ever hit... we just had a really wet week.