The dust in the above picture didn't stop at my doorway...nor is it stopped by cabinet doors and closed windows. When a dust storm hits, every surface of EVERYTHING in a house must undergo dust removal. Every shelf, every piece of furniture, every dish in your cupboard, and your kids stuffed animals all have a fine layer of reddish dust on them. Normal dusting in this country is a b***h even without the dust storms and daily dust removal is a must during the winter when it’s windy.
The worst experience with the dust in this country came when I was pregnant with EttaMae and went into labor. When I was certain I would be giving birth that day, I decided to clean up my home to keep my mind off of the pain and to make sure that my house was clean to return to after coming home from the hospital. I started cleaning at 9am and didn't stop until after 3pm when I finally had to go to the hospital. I cleaned every bathroom, every floor, every dish, and every bit of laundry. I only stayed in the hospital less than 24 hours and returned home the next day after noon. During the night, a dust storm had hit and coated everything in my apartment with a layer of dust. I returned, physically exhausted from the birthing process to this: all my clean dishes had to be rewashed, the clean clothes on the line were coated with dust as well as the clothes in my cabinet, my sparkling bathrooms turned into muddy messes, and the floors all had footprints through the dust...
Wearing either black or white is also a pain when one leaves the house. Anyone who lives in an area where road-salt is used can sympathize with the smudges on your arm or butt as you ever-so-slightly brushed across the side of your car which unbeknownst to you, left your clothes branded for the rest of the day. I've been washing my abaya after each trip out, no matter how brief the excursion. The dust is dangerous for drivers too, as Emiratis are being warned.
Our heads ache, our chests burn, and our eyes are crusty from the dust. But at least it’s not hot yet, right? We should count our blessings, no matter how dusty they are.
And later that day