Monday, April 26, 2010

Freak Storm

Knowing that showers were forecast for this afternoon, and seeing gathering clouds in the sky, I went to the store so that I could do my shopping before the rain hit. I stayed there about an hour (shopping takes a long time when you have to compare all the labels to your dictionary).

As I was walking home the sky was very dark, and part of the sky was a strange brown color. I got to my door and stopped to try to take a picture of the sky, but it was suddenly too dark, and then the wind picked up HARD, along with about five tons of dust! I quickly tried to get into the doorway, feeling like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. I ran in, quickly shut the window to keep out the dust (thereby acquiring another eyeful of dust) and plugged in my flashlight to charge the battery.

Pic taken on the way to the store. Note that the clouds look like normal rain clouds. These big trees with lavender flowers are in blossom all over and smell incredibly sweet - are they lilacs?
Closeup of the tree's blossoms:
On the way home from the store. The sky actually looked more brown colored but it doesn't show in the photo. I'm about 500 m away from the entrance to the courtyard, on the right is the parking lot, so about 1000m from my door. This is taken in front of the door to my building. It was not THIS dark, but it was dark enough to activate the flash which made the pic look like night, but you can tell in this one the brown color of the sky. I didn't even have time to see how the pic turned out because right at this moment I was hit by the cloud of dust.

I thought I would make a fast blog entry, in case the power goes out. The wind is blowing so hard that the giant cranes at the construction site across the street are swinging in the wind. If I had known this was coming I would have bought another flashlight... I will be quite surprised if the power doesn't go out at some point tonight.

I am SO GLAD that I didn't wait a minute longer to go to the store! It's like a hurricane or something - I check not one but three different weather pages regularly, but none of them even mentioned this. The report just said "showers" - not "crazy freaky dust storm"!

I feel so lucky that I got home in time; I could have been halfway home when it hit. Even the moments it took to get in the door got a bunch of dirt in my eyes! I will be staying indoors until this blows over - actually until morning, as I have no reason to go out now.

This morning I had a disaster; I forgot to uncover the washing machine drain again, so I spent the morning mopping up the floor and then washing all the things that were on the floor. Right now my wooden platform bed is upside down waiting for the wood to dry... if the power goes out, I will have to put the bed together by flashlight.

Oh, and if that all that wasn't wonderful enough, the heavy wind is blowing the sewage stink up the drains something fierce.

On the bright side, the Chinese lessons are working! I'm starting to be able to understand and use a few words, just enough to be able to make idiotic conversation with taxi drivers and neighbors. Yay!

It goes something like this:

Chinese person: "Blablablabla"
Me: "I don't understand"
Chinese person: "Blabla America Blabla?"
Me: "Yes, me America."
Chinese person: "Blabla teacher blabla?"
Me: "Yes, me teacher."
Chinese person: "Blabla here blabla?"
Me: "Yes, me live here."

And then, since this has exhausted my meager Chinese vocabulary, we inevitably cycle back to the beginning:

Chinese person: "Blablablabla"
Me: "I don't understand"
Chinese person: "Blablablabla"
Me: "I don't understand"
Chinese person: "Oh, you don't understand, do you? Hahaha!"
Me: "Hahaha! Bye!"


  1. Joshooah Lovenkraft26 April, 2010 08:25

    You jinxed me! Right in the middle of reading this the power went out for over an hour lol. I'm not sure if this would be helpful but I read about these free, extensive language courses via the US Foreign Service Institute you might like. One of the many things on my "oh i should really do that" list ...

  2. "Blablablabla" means this is a crazy country get back home asap! hehe

    Hugggggs and allot of towels!!!


  3. Sounds like quite the adventure there! You need to paste a note on the washing machine - "Uncover the Drain Before Using!"

    Do you have a way of getting one of those emergency flashlights that have a little handle that you can crank? They are fabulous if your batteries go out...I even got an emergency radio that has that and have used it on occasion when we have had outages here.

    I love the pictures you posted. Absolutely wonderful, give the kids hugses from me!

    Hopefully the dust storm will be over soon, your bedposts will be dry and the day nice by tomorrow.

  4. Josh, sorry about the power outage... I guess you took one for the team, because, my power stayed on!

    Will check the language course out, thanks. :)

    Hi Julie! (((big hug)))
    I believe it's 9 more months here, but I'm finally starting to feel better and enjoy it.

    Dmom, I have seen those kind of lights in the school but not in a store. Had one at home that had both light and radio for my car.

    The uderside of the bed wasn't dry by bedtime, so I'll need to flip it up again today to make sure it dries completely.

    The storm is all gone and the day looks like it will be clear and nice today (currently 6:20am).