Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bubbles, Sun and Dust

I kept on waking up at night thinking I was by the ocean, or really close to the highway. As I ascended back to consciousness my surroundings reminded me it was just the air-conditioner. Air-conditioning is ever present, a constant dull hum in the ear where ever you go. The bubble world is magnified, personified by the air-conditioning. I move from the bubble home, to the bubble car, to bubble work. I return via the bubble mall. There is only the bubble, there is no natural world, no connection with the land.
The Bubble Mall

I take a 15 minute break around lunch each day to make sure I get some idea of real Saudi summer. I sit outside in the raw sun where everything radiates heat. It's a type of heat that you feel you are swimming in, it's thick, viscous. Even at night it's too hot to stay outside for long and the cold water taps still run warm.
The Air-conditioners that keep our villa cool

Last night a dust storm came up, when we woke up the entire city was in a thick fog of dust. The sky looks white, blinding initially until your eyes adjust to the glare. You vision fades after about 20m in all directions. The dust gives the surroundings an surreal texture, like everything is slightly imaginary. The dust in your lungs reminds you of the opposite. Apparently last month the entire east coast was under a dust cloud for 3 weeks. At least it cools things down a bit. The sun can't reach through the dust. Even at mid day you can stare right at it, it looks like bright white disk, or a pearl. It doesn't seem to really shine, it's more the light is a property of the mist.

The view from the office after the dust storm

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