The 11th Floor

A Perpsective Overlooking Jerusalem, Israeli Life, and Talmud Torah

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I'd like to tell you, but I don't know what it is.

This shabbat morning dawned with what seemed to be light fog or a haze of a sort. But there was not the kind of humidity in the air one needs for fog. As the afternoon developed, so did a strange taste in the mouth, as if you had just licked a piece of school-room chalk. "Its the Sharav," one good friend on his third year in Israel explained. Sharav is often used as a synonym for Hamsin, but this storm is really a sharkiya, which is cool and dry. There's no sand involved, but fine white dust imported from Saudi Arabia.

It even reached Los Angeles air quality on a summer day with no wind and 95ºF temps. And then, it went past it. You can taste the air in any room now, and going outside is like entering a blues bar that has 200 chain smokers and no open windows. I'd show you a picture, but one it was shabbat and two, it just looks like white haze. For more details on this kind of dust storm, you can read this article from the forward.

Friday was warm and 70ºF; the forecast for tomorrow is more haze. Meanwhile in Chicago there's another blizzard coming, and Louisiana is getting hit by tornadoes. Between the three, I'm sure the tornadoes are the worst, but I'd rather have the blizzard than this sensation that I've just licked a blackboard. Bleagh!

Image: A popular target of graffiti are the Jerusalem pedestrian signs- always a man with a hat. This time, some unusual things are also crossing the road with him.

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Blogger Berzerkomandor said...

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