A Little Fall of Rain

From what I’ve been hearing about the weather these past few months you would think I was living somewhere in the tropics right before monsoon season, a rainforest or possibly a suburb of London. I’ve been warned about the incoming of “winter” (aka 60 degrees) and with the changing of the seasons, the rain. I heard about floods of the past, thunderstorms and how a few years ago it rained every single weekend. The sense of foreboding was palpable but I couldn’t help but be skeptical. This is the desert after all.

It’s hard to imagine the seemingly endless dust and sand being turned into mud and puddles. I figured everyone was just exaggerating, the way people in D.C. claim that they know how to deal with snow but when it actually happens (1-2 inches maximum) the New Englanders end up doing all of the actual shoveling However, despite my doubts, it turns out that it actually does happen! Granted it didn’t seem to be quite to the extent that it had been built up to be but there was definitely precipitation. And it was actually a lot of rain too. I looked out the window and for a second it felt like a summer storm at home, except for the palm trees and Arab style houses.

People here react to rain the way people in the South react to snow. It doesn’t happen often so when it does you’re not even sure if you should hide inside or run out to jump in the puddles. And even more serious, the strange liquid falling from the sky will probably interfere with all plans at least 24 hours before and up to a week after.

The view from a cousins house after the rain. The (dirt) field was temporarily transformed into a pond.

The view from a cousins house after the rain. The (dirt) field was temporarily transformed into a pond.

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Although I was amused by some of the extreme reactions, the precautions were somewhat valid. Most of the roads here are good but there are a lot that are only sort of paved or uneven, making them more prone to flooding. The abundance of wadis, dry riverbeds that are often the site of flash floods is also a cause for concern. For several days after the rain many roads remained flooded, blocked by huge puddles. This didn’t stop most drivers from going straight through anyways but it did help me understand why the rain is such a big deal. Despite being just rare, its much more of an inconvenience and hazard than it usually is at home. But it is a pleasant change of pace to have a little rain for once and we even got let out of school early the day it happened. Also as a nice side effect the whole city seems to shine a bit brighter after all the houses and cars have been cleared of their usual coating of dust.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sally nochowitz
    Jan 15, 2014 @ 12:02:38

    I just love the way you write and express yourself. I feel as tho I am there withyou in this blog.
    Sally Nochowitz(Bubbie and Zadie’s friend)

    Reply

  2. Sandy and Sheldon Green
    Jan 15, 2014 @ 14:38:03

    Thank you very much for allowing us to follow your blog. We are friends of your Bubbie and Zayde. We hope that someday we will have the opportunity to meet you. Sandy and Sheldon Green.

    Reply

  3. Allen Israel
    Jan 15, 2014 @ 15:50:17

    Miriam,
    Your vivid description of rain in the desert was wonderful. One question: did everyone run to the grocery store and clear the shelves like they do here if the word “snow” is mentioned??

    Reply

  4. Lisa silverman
    Jan 15, 2014 @ 17:53:40

    Don’t you fret, Monsieur Marius; I don’t feel any pain…

    Reply

  5. Rena
    Jan 17, 2014 @ 01:09:45

    This is so apropos! Here in California we are facing the worst drought in 40 years, unless we get rain in the next few weeks. We are all very worried — I mean, as worried as we can be kickin’ it at the beach in the 78 degree sunshine. Hooray for rain! We’ll won’t be hiding, we’ll be jumping in the puddles. Thanks for all the posts!

    Reply

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