It takes very little time here for your ears to become acutely sensitive to the sound of water. Any sort of water. In the shower, the sink, out of bottles or water filters it simply isn’t a sound that you can take for granted where water is in short supply. And that is why when it starts to rain someone shuts of the TV and we all look at each other, stunned, and go outside. It’s like we’re aliens who’ve just dropped into the planet and have never seen anything so exciting and miraculous as water falling from the sky.
“Is it raining?” someone asks.
“I think so,” I say holding out my hand to catch a drop.
The guard comes inside the gate and motions at the sky. ‘It’s raining, it’s raining!’ he says, or we assume he says.
He is speaking Arabic, afterall, and might be telling us that an air raid is about to occur. But, by his excitement I think we can safely assume that he’s talking about the rain and that he’s as delighted by it as we are. So, we all stand there listening to it tip, tap on the tin roof, on the hood of the car, on the water tanks. It only rains at night and even then not very much - not even enough to make the ground wet but it means that more is coming. I can only compare the feeling to hearing an orchestra tune their instruments before the ballet, or the last day of school before summer break. It’s magical.