بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
June 27, 2014
Today Y and I decided to drive a short ways outside of Riyadh to see the desert. Suddenly he went off the main road, hopped out of the car with a pen in his hand, went around to all four of the tires and finally jumped back inside. He smiled at me and said, “Okay, let’s give this a try.”
“When was the first time that you drove in the desert?” I asked.
“I was a kid and my uncle took me and two of my cousins to teach us,” he replied.
“Is your uncle good at it?” I questioned.
“Yeah, but really there are just a few things that you need to drive in the desert,” he smirked, “An SUV, to let a little air out of the tires and to leave your heart at home.”
I just smiled at him.
“If you’re scared, it won’t work because as soon as you slow down or stop you get stuck,” he said.
“Because the tires will sink in once you stop, right?” I guessed.
“Yes, exactly,” he answered, “Let me show you something.”
Y is good at driving in the desert because he thinks quickly and has patience. There were 2 or 3 times that it seemed like we were going to be stuck, yet slowly Y pulled us out and we continued on.
After a bit of fun throwing sand, swerving and bouncing around in our seats, we went back to the place where we had started. About 5 meters in the car stopped, the wheels spun and when Y got out to check the front end it was in pretty deep.
He laughed as he got back into the car saying, “We’re stuck…I didn’t imagine that, but the 4 wheel drive stopped working.”
Two minutes later a guy stopped behind us offering help. He called his friend to come help pull us out. I sat in the car as they talked to each other outside waiting for the others to arrive. I’ve noticed that most Saudi people get great pleasure out of helping others. It doesn’t seem that they find it a burden or a loss of precious time, but rather as something easy. I guess they just feel that if they were in the same position that they would hope someone would stop to help them as well. I like to think about it as a “pay it forward” system.
A few minutes after the others arrived we were out. Y thanked the guys and they were on their way. We decided to take a short walk in the sand taking off our shoes, walking up a small dune and sitting down for a few quiet moments.
As we walked back to the car to go back to the city I realized yet again how such simple things make life beautiful. We just have to remember to enjoy what we have, to smile, to laugh and to let go of the things that cause us stress.