I’m currently stuck in the Baghdad airport riding out what appears to the Perfect Sandstorm. All flights are canceled and it looks like I’ll be spending the night at one of the security compounds near the airport. No hopping across the street to the Marriott here. Airlines are very hesitant to cancel flights until the last moment because it means lost revenue for them, so passengers wait, hoping against all hope that the storm will clear.
Epic sandstorms pop up indiscriminately and the really bad ones can hang around for days on end. You know it’s bad when the visibility ‘inside’ the buildings is dropping to mere yards, which is about where I am today. Dust permeates everything. Sitting at the airport restaurant, plates and silverware are coated with fine brown dust in just a few minutes, and you can taste the grime in your mouth with every dry breath you take.