My first sandstorm

By James Fallows

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!

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2007/05/my-first-sandstorm/7593/