Our first year in Dubai, the rains came in January. It was the time George Bush Jr was visiting and practically the entire city was closed off for security reasons. I don’t know what surprised me more: the fact that flash thunderstorms could submerge the desert so quickly or that George Bush was visiting a muslim country! Everyone who needed to get to school or work that day was complaining about the inconvenience George’s visit was, as most streets seemed to be cordoned off and this would leave them driving round in circles. But, on the actual day of the visit, schools were shut because of the flooding caused by the rain……since then Dubaians fondly refer to that day off as ‘George Bush Day’……poor George would be very proud.
Back to the rain…..the following year it came in March and last year again in January and March. This year, despite overcast, grey skies on many an occasion, rain did not come. We waited, we hoped. We hoped for some respite from the early surge in humid temperatures in March and then again earlier this month. I really thought this year might be a dry one…….until last night……
The kids had just gone to bed. The night was black and eerily silent. Still in the high 20’s, the refreshing breeze of the day was gone. It could have gone either way. We could have sat out on the veranda with a glass of wine in hand but, when a brilliant flash of light transformed the sky it was obvious that was not going to be an option.
It was one helluva storm. The warm rain poured in heavy, unforgiving splats. My first thought? ‘My car is filthy, I can hardly see out of the windows. I need to reverse it out of the garage to let nature clean it up a bit!’. My car will be happy, my grass and my plants will be happy, and I felt happy that we had one of our 3 Dubai seasons (‘hot’, ‘flippin’ hot & sweaty’ and ‘rainy’), albeit so far, only for one night!
Today the kids are outside with their umbrellas waiting for the next instalment. We just had a few drops which would not even qualify as ‘spitting rain’ back home and they were squealing with delight. Dressed in their pyjamas (literally since the last day of term when DD and DS1 school celebrated pyjama day, they have not worn day clothes), sporting their umbrellas marvelling at how a few drops ‘make everything wet’!!!!
To DS2 rain is as exciting as snow. Our Dubai baby, as he is known, is at the other end of the weather spectrum to DD and DS2 who, in the summer before we left for Dubai, spent 6 weeks donning ‘all in one’ rain suits and wellies every day……..praying for one more day of rain to revel in it through the kids’ eyes.
It does not look like we will get the rain that hit in 2008. Unfortunately for the kids, fortunately for homeowners….A community near us flooded in 2008 (because it is built at the bottom of a slope – d’oh!) and people actually used canoes as transport. Can see it now, inflating the paddling pool and using tennis rackets as oars! But so far there has not been much heavy rain. Heavy rain is the true test of the quality of your house. I have heard of stories of ceilings collapsing, leaks through window frames and buckets everywhere! Demand for maintenance guys surges and you could spend days tip-toeing around your buckets before the problem is fixed. Fingers crossed.