First of all, just to set the mood...
Today, I survived my first sandstorm! (Oh, and the PSAT too.) I was at AMIDEAST for my Middle Eastern History class, and it finished so us YESers were just hanging out downstairs when we heard a boom! Is that thunder (ra3d in Arabic)? Why aiwa, aiwa it is.
Bailey and I ran to the window to see an ominously grey sky. Rain? we wondered. Yes, but not quite yet!
The wind picked up and we all went outside to check it out, and bam! All of a sudden sand was flying everywhere. For the record, though I was completely and totally thrilled to be experiencing this, sand hurts when it gets into one's eyes... contacts are no help whatsoever there. So after taking a few short videos, "OMG IT'S A SANDSTORM AHHHHH" being the main component of them, we went back inside. The sky turned completely black for a while, and you could see nothing but the swirling sand.
Then, my host mom and sister arrived to pick me up! They had driven through the storm, including one point on the expressway when they apparently couldn't see more than a few feet!
Right after I got into the car, it started raining, and fairly hard too! I hadn't seen rain since before I left the States, so it was quite a phenomenon to see water falling from the sky! To make it even more exciting, the rain was mixed with the sand... I'm not quite sure how sand still managed to blow everywhere despite the rain ( of which there was actually a fair amount) but it did.
And it was awesome. I loved it. Everyone's cars are now breaking the "no dirty cars in Muscat" law, but I guess that'll be one rule that will have to slide for a few days.
I didn't take this picture, but that's what it looked like! I'll try to upload my videos to YouTube/ Facebook when I have more time :)