Weather in Kabul - an entirely non-political post
May 25, 2007
One of the FAQs I got when I was home in Germany earlier this month (was it really just three weeks ago?) was about the weather in Afghanistan: what's it like? And since my most recent personal post was oh-so-full of venom, I thought I'd post something much more benign. And what's more benign than the weather?
In Kabul, I've had it all weather-wise:
On May 20, the high here was 80° and the low was 48°. That high is as high as I ever like to go. Today, May 25, the low was 55° and the current temperature is 72°. I know this is such an anomaly for Kabul, and that the weather is going to get MUCH hotter. Not sure how I'm going to survive it. Especially wearing a headscarf. I'm such a wimp.
- March started off with snow and freezing temperatures. I wore layers upon layers of clothes and hiking boots. To bed, I still had to wear layers (but not the hiking boots). There were days at work I shivered as I stared out from my office onto the snow-covered compound. But the dogs here were happy - with everyone inside most of the time, they were free to run around and play with each other, without fear. They provided me with great entertainment.
((if you want to help regarding the stray dog and cat situation in Afghanistan, please make a donation to the Mayhew Animal Home and Humane Education Centre, and tell them you want your gift to go to their efforts in Afghanistan. They are working to help spay and neuter dogs and cats there, to train Afghans regarding veterinary medicine, and to change Afghans' cultural practices regarding dogs, which have no basis in the Koran. I have spoken numerous times with a representative of this organization; they ARE making a difference, and your support will help them do even more!))
- March ended with rain. The rainy season lasts about a week, and it was a big one this year. I kept wearing the hiking boots, and had to wash my clothes after just one wear, even shirts, because of the mud.
- Strangely, it was hotter in April than it's been in May. I slept in as little on as possible (but I've always got something to jump into just in case I need to make a run for it). I took cold showers - and wished the shower was even colder. I slept with the fan on and no covers - and still felt like I was in a sauna. I packed up all my winter clothes, which I hadn't worn much, but had very much needed for my first weeks here, to take home on my first leave - because just looking at them made my temperature rise. I wore my hiking boots on the flights back to Germany on my first leave, because I knew I didn't really need them anymore here but they wouldn't fit in my suitcase with all the other stuff; I thought my feet were going to catch fire. The dogs here disappeared for days, hiding from all the people outside and the scorching sun.
- May has been cooler than April: I haven't run my fan as I sleep or even most of the time I'm in the room playing on the computer or whatever (the good part of the fan is that is blocks all the noise, like the men of this guest house who insist on making absolutely disgusting noises right outside my window; the bad part is that I think it's caused some of my allergy problems). It's very pleasant in the shade during the day - if you can find somewhere safe to sit outside. Some nights, I even had to close my window because it was too cool. But the wind that cools things down also brings dust storms. They are amazing to behold, especially when they bypass us at the Ministry offices - we're positioned such that we can sometimes see them roll across the valley of the city. But when they are coming straight for us, we have to close all the windows as quickly as possible and have the tissues ready. The dust gets everywhere, especially all over our computers. I wash my hands several times a day, both because they feel yucky and because the dust carries meningitis, bits of feces, and who knows what else. Once, while walking to Kabul City Center, a small dust storm hit, and I completely wrapped my head up, exposing only my eyes. It's the only time I wished I had a burka.
With the wind and dust has come allergic reactions. I have had four so far - various parts of my face swell up (sometimes my bottom lip, sometimes just the right side of my bottom and top lip, sometimes one side of my face, and always, my eyelids), and my eyes itch like crazy. It's lovely, really.
I don't have air conditioning in my guest house, but I do have it at work - a little Samsung wall unit with a little happy Arab cartoon man telling us that this is "The best buy for the Coolest Life" (I'll take a picture, I promise - we have named him Mahmoud). But we haven't used it yet, because we all hate air conditioning. Since our office doesn't face the sun, it hasn't gotten too bad... yet. We're petitioning for a ceiling fan. I have a feeling the air conditioning will get turned on in June at some point...
So, that's the weather in Kabul.
If you have read this blawg, PLEASE let me know.
Comments are welcomed, and motivate me to keep writing --
without comments, I start to think I'm talking to cyberair.
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