I rode my bicycle to work today and noticed that the tiles were wet in the courtyard. For some odd reason, I found this a bit jarring along with the clouds and the slight chill in the air. “None of these things happen here, right?” I thought. It’s hot, sunny, and dry. ALL THE TIME. But it rained.
Actually, up in the more mountainous areas like in Ras al Khaimah, you have more rain than here in Sharjah, as my students told me. But as my students told me in October-November this happens. But actually, this was really unusual as twin cyclones hit Yemen in the past couple weeks, and Cyclone Megh is supposed to create rain here for the next couple days.
Why is rain enough of a hardship to shut down a major university? Simple – environmental factors and lack of certain types of infrastructure. Many areas simply don’t have storm sewers and catchments, meaning low-level flooding. I mean, why would you need it in a place that usually only has rain a couple times a year?
Secondly, the dust that is pervasive here creates a slurry on the marble courtyard here , and it’s just slippery – I just think it’s like ice and go with that. But like sudden ice storms in the South of the US, rain creates problems of its own, and while my friends in Illinois scoff, rain here is actually a serious thing to deal with.
So, you get snow days, we get Rain Days.