I live in the desert. Is it just me or does everyone have to double check the spelling for desert/dessert every time they type it? The reason I mention the desert is because it's very easy to forget you live in the desert in Qatar. When you're situated on the Persian Gulf, surrounded by water and modern architecture, it can slip your mind that just outside the city limits is sand. Lots of sand.
Until it gets windy.
For the past two days the wind has been crazy. Sand drifts across streets in purposeful waves, the sky is the colour of a butternut and a city view becomes a distant memory. My hair is full of grit. My skin has an extra layer and my eyes are in a state of permanent squint.
As I made my way across the school car park yesterday I watched mothers clutching the hands of their children. Someone was walking backwards trying to lessen the impact. A girlfriend of mine stopped talking mid sentence and said "I can feel the sand on my teeth".
Most of the houses here don't have carpet, it means the children can draw and sketch with just an index finger and a kitchen floor. Me? Exaggerate?
Okay, but I can feel the sand on my feet as I walk from room to room. It's on my laptop as I type, it's on the plants, the windows, the cupboards and it piles up in miniature dunes at the front and back door.
Here's the view through our back window.
I live in the desert. Not the dessert.