You know that feeling you get when it's cold outside and the much anticipated weather report had said that it's supposed to snow? You wait and hope. And then, the next morning, there is a blanket of white covering everything. You'd venture outside and marvel at the snow-covered silence and see your breath coming out in plumes...
But here, of course, it's the complete opposite. Yesterday was the beginning of one of the worst dust storms since we arrived back in February. At first, it looked like a normal, windswept day...hazy, very hot. But, after lunch, the wind began to pick up and the dust/haze in the atmosphere thickened. You could no longer see the sun, which was a blessing because that haze would keep our temperature at a respectable 105 degrees or so.
By close of business, you couldn't see 50 feet ahead of you. The sky took on a brownish/orange tinge and it was dark sooner than normal. When SFC Q (my roommate) walked in to our CHU, the wind was buffeting the outer walls and you couldn't see more than 15 feet ahead of you.
So I read my book in my room and sleep took me. I woke up this morning, got dressed as usual, and picked up my toothbrush and bottled water so I could brush my teeth outside. I opened the door and...slowly scanned the area. EVERYTHING was covered with a thick film of orange dust. If you haven't smelled the dust/sand of the Middle East, let me tell you, it's not appealing.
After scrubbing my teeth I went to chow and headed to work. Along the way, I marveled at how the dust clings to everything and gets into everything...EVERYTHING. It even makes its way into your CHU via the air conditioner...to lovingly coat everything you own. Not quite the feeling you want (unlike the snow), but you get it nonetheless. SGT Fardette said this morning, "At least snow is clean." He's got a point there.
The sign at Camp Slayer (this morning, after the storm) says it all, "Another Day in Paradise". Yeah.