Bahrain had a sandstorm today!
Not just any old sandstorm, but the tail end of a bad-weather front that has swept across the Middle East from Lebanon - where the border with Syria is closed, giant waves have hammered Sidon in the south and heavy dumps of snow have blocked the mountain roads - right through to Egypt, where ships have sunk off the coast of Alexandria.and 28 buildings collapsed in the fierce winds and 11 people died.... Alexandria, where I happen to be heading on Wednesday this week. Yikes.
Sandstorms in the desert region are quite spectacular. They're not quite The Mummy-esque type of sandstorm beloved of Hollywood and Brendan Fraser movies, but they are massive and they do block visibility completely. I tried to take a photo to show you what the vista looked like, but it was completely pointless. All the sand and dust fills the air like a solid mass, and it's impossible to discern anything through it.
Giant wall of impenetrable sand? Check. Men wearing scarves over their heads to protect their eyes and lungs? Check. Incredible gusts of winds that nearly blew me over as I was trying to cross a busy road? Check, check and check. But no photographic proof possible.
So I've holed up here tonight in my porno palace and I'm not going out for love nor money. If you don't hear from me within 24 hours, you'll know I've suffocated in an eleven-storey high pile of sand. Wish me luck.