A Rainy Day in Jeddah

Jeddah Rain
The Hotel driveway after the rain

It rained four days ago. I awoke at 6 in the morning to the alarm then heard the thunder. Looking out of the hotel window I saw a lovely thunderstorm, thunder, lightning and rain. Had a shower, looked out the window again and the road at the back of the hotel (the Madinah Road) was flooded.

It then occurred to me, because it probably only rains once a year here no one worries about building a drainage system. In fact, walking around town I can’t recall seeing a drain. This morning, therefore, it was like driving to work through a lake.

I’ve been coming to the Middle East on and off now for 15 years and today was the first day I have been here in the rain. The nearest I came before was arriving in Kuwait two days after it had rained. I look forward to the few days here to see what happens after the rain – to see how long things remain wet.

Oh, and actually the road out the front of the hotel is also the Madinah Road.

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Saturday Night and the Storms Roll Through

Thunderstorm Over Ulaanbaatar - Click for a larger view
A single raincloud approaches Ulaanbaatar

It was a hot day today in Ulaanbaatar. Hot and dry. Late in the afternoon, early evening (right about now in fact), there is some rain in the area. This is accompanied by lightning and thunder and some local cool winds.

I will admit to feeling a wee bit homesick with the thunderstorms – sort of reminded me of late summer evenings in Sydney when the thunderstorms would roll in from the west, dropping the temperature (and a lot of rain) and giving the world that fresh “just washed” smell.

The thunderstorms rolling in from here are great as well, as they roll in over the mountains. Nature is great.

Seasonal Change

I noted it before when winter passed through into Spring, and then into Summer. These were overnight changes in Mongolia. Well, they seemed overnight at least. Here we are, sitting at the end of summer. Last weekend I wore shorts, this weekend I am wearing jeans and a flannelette shirt. Summer disappeared sometime in the last 15 days or so. Leaves will fall from trees soon (again, they will be there one day, gone the next).

Today is the 10th of September, it is overcast, very light rain from time to time. Temperature at night now is about 3 or 4 degrees Celsius. Daytime temperature between 10 and 18 Celsius. In 5 days time the central heating goes back on in Ulaanbaatar.

Hmm, grey days, short days, long nights and cold cold cold to come. I am looking forward to this first winter in Mongolia. I have some books on order and hopefully they will arrive this week as well as some more hobby stuff so I should be fine on the weekends and in the evenings. Then, if course, there is the internet — when surfing international sites it is slightly faster than snail mail – but just slightly.