I would like to note a strange phenomenon concerning the soles of my shoes. In all the countries I've been at, the soles of my shoes would keep the colors bestowed on them by that factory in China; they'd get dirty and store all sorts of nasty stuff in between the cracks, but you could still tell exactly what the soles' original color is.
There had to be an exception to the rule, and that exception is Israel. One has to admit Israel is an exceptional country, and it sticks to its reputation with shoe soles, too: In Israel, the soles of my shoes would quickly turn black; once out of Israel it took a day for the soles to return to their factory settings.
The reason is probably the desert dust that constantly washes Israel over and makes things go dusty at a rate that's probably more than ten times faster than Australia's. The interesting point with this dust, if we were to expand the scope of this discussion beyond soles, is that this dust makes everything appear dirty. There is this feeling of decrepitude in Israel that I never noticed while living there but I can't avoid feeling constantly whenever I now visit. It's everywhere: cars look miserable, apartment buildings look uninviting.
Thing is, that feeling is entirely superficial. Apartment building may look crappy, but once I step inside I am often surprised by how glamorous they are (certainly when compared to my humble abode). As they say, taste the steak - don't settle for smelling the cow!