It would seem that my initial assessment of rain in Abu Dhabi as "no big deal" was incorrect. While the rainfall itself wasn't anything to rival Japan, the city's inability to deal with with it made it something to behold. I suppose it's like someone from Wisconsin hearing that the highways in Florida have been shut down because of two inches of snow. "Hah, that's all?" one might say. I felt a similar way to the rain here. Still, after noticing the locals' inability to adjust driving to the conditions and the infrequency with which they have to drive on wet roads made me nervous about driving to work. In fact, I saw an SUV on it's side on the median of the road as I drove to work which didn't help things.
For the most part, it rained only moderately with occasional showers. It wasn't a big deal but after looking at the huge puddles of water gathering everywhere was the first time that I noticed that there aren't any sewer grates or anywhere for the water to go. That was enough reason for any amount of rain to accumulate.
It wasn't that deep, but it was enough to get my feet wet and I did have to walk through it everywhere I went. It didn't rain that hard but it was enough for my kids to complain that they didn't have umbrellas for the two days a year that it rains. One of our neighbors overheard them complaining and brought over some umbrellas for the kids tonight.
My students also seemed to get a kick out of the rain today, too. A lot of them were flying through the parking lot to splash the puddles. I was waiting for someone to hydroplane and take out a row of parked cars. Most of my students made it to class, but were even more antsy than usual. One guy explained to me, "In the summer we go out into the desert and it's so hot but when it rains it feels so cool and refreshing." It's strange to think that most of these guys have seen rain like this 20 or 30 times in their lives and how novel rain must be.