A few days ago in Shanghai: 5pm. Threatening skies all day, walk out of a building into the kind of gusty wind that, back in Washington, would make me think, A thunderstorm is about to break. It rains hard for a minute, but mainly there’s grit. Suddenly my eyes are full of it, it’s on my teeth and the back of my throat (maybe I should hawwwwwkkk and spit?), I can feel it when I breathe. The sky is a yellowish color I’ve heard about as a pre-tornado warning. Sandstorm! At least a little one, enough to make me wonder about the dreaded blasts from the desert toward Beijing.

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The view of the ochreish sky when I got home.

When I was a kid, my mom and dad ended up stuck in a sandstorm in the Mojave Desert. I don’t remember the details, but I know that before the trip, the car had paint, and afterwards it had bare metal. Nice to think of that cleansing action on my throat and lungs!