5 Things I Hate about Harmattan

dry-skin-black*It’s the most wonderful time of the year…* so Andy Williams sings, after all it’s Christmas season – I get that. What I don’t agree with is the weather we have in Nigeria during this period. While I know a white Christmas could be cold it’s also beautiful; with everything white – rooftops, cars, roads – all white everything (just like the snowflakes on my site). But here in Nigeria we have Harmattan. Wikipedia does a good job describing it:

The Harmattan is a cold-dry and dusty trade wind, blowing over the West African subcontinent. This northeasterly wind blows from the Sahara Desert into the Gulf of Guinea between the end of November and the middle of March

i. It’s dusty – Imagine you drive to work, your car looking spick and span in the morning and by closing time you come back to the car park after 8 hrs and find your car looking like it hasn’t been driven for 8 months. I mean, when I think about the winter I experienced in the UK I could decide to build Frosty the Snowman. What on earth can you build with dust? Dusty the Sandman? Dust is as useful as Oscar Pistorius in ad promoting Valentines Day, #IMO.

ii. It’s foggy – In the early hours of the morning when the day breaks, the fog is quite thick and it’s a wonder how someone with poor eyesight would cope during this period. I notice some motorists on my route driving slower than usual when there’s no car in front of them and swaying slightly between two lanes  – it’s because they need glasses! Harmattan isn’t going to make it any easier for them so my advise for every motorist in Nigeria is to drive with caution or you will end up using your caution sign.

iii. It’s cold-dry – It gets a little nippy outside in the early hours of the morning and at night all though this year its kind of humid. If you use air conditioners (ACs) then you may find that they’re working a bit better than usual – cooler air. You may even wake up with a runny nose or cold head. And if you’re really unlucky you might get a groggy throat too *cough cough*.

iv. It dries my skin – I can’t afford not to take notice of my exposed body parts when I leave my flat. When I go to work I need to make sure that my hands don’t have dry white patches between my fingers. When I’m out on the weekends in flip-flops my feet should be creamed thoroughly so I don’t look like I’ve been living on the streets. If I wear short sleeves I need to ensure my elbows aren’t looking like the Negev desert.

v. It makes me clean up continuously – My flat right now is gathering dust but not as quickly as Oscar Pistorius’ running blades (pardon me, but I’m really on his case for obvious reasons). My wooden floors are slippery and all possible surfaces and equipment have a thin layer of dust coating. My once-a-week household cleaning would have to step up to two times a week (but we both know that works only in theory).

That said, I wish you all (in Nigeria) Merry Christmas in advance and a dusty Harmattan!

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