Dune Surfing in Saudi: How to Keep Sand Out of Your Car

I think my dad's least favorite thing when I was growing up was getting sand in his car. He also disliked Californians, which is ironic because he is one. It is also ironic that Dad had 10,000 spoons when all he needed was a knife. Who would've thought? It figures. But this is not a story about my dad disliking people from California. This is a story about sand. It will probably be as boring as it sounds.

"I don't have enough sand on my back. I can fix that."
So Dad has always hated getting sand in his car. When we would go to the beach, Dad wouldn't let me get in the car afterward unless I had been properly de-sanded. I remember him essentially giving me a spanking in the beach parking lots, trying to get all the loose sand off my pants. Once my butt was sufficiently de-sanded, I could sit on the bumper and he would remove my shoes and wipe off my feet. When my feet were de-sanded, I was no longer permitted to put them on the ground; I had to climb through the car to my seat. Dad would also scour each crevice of my face, scraping sand out of my nostrils, out from the folds in my ears, from around the hair roots in my eyebrows, and from the gooey corners of my eyes. I hated it. "DA-aaaaaddd!!" I would whine. If I whined too much, he would find a zit somewhere on my face and pop it to remind me who was boss.

I vowed that things would be different when I was a dad. I am a dad now. Things are not different.

Stop 1 on our trans-Arabian road trip was dune surfing near Riyadh. Dune surfing is where you basically just go to sand dunes and stuff sand down your pants and smear it around in your hair. Also, you eat mouthfuls of it and swish it over your tongue, then spit the product into your shoes and run around for several hours.

The kids had a lot of fun. After a couple hours of sand sledding (with this type of thing), the children were unhappy because some of their body crevices did not have sand in them, so they began burying each other in the sand. Grace said, "I want to get buried too!" I didn't say anything, because I didn't want to be Sand Nazi, Jr. Halen also wanted to be buried. I sort of whimpered a little. Then Savannah also thought having sand dumped all over one's body seemed delightful. And I was defeated. There was definitely going to be sand in my car.

When it was time to go, I essentially spanked each of my children, trying to get all the loose sand off their pants. Once their butts were sufficiently de-sanded, they could sit on the bumper and I would remove their shoes and wipe off their feet. When their feet were de-sanded, they were no longer permitted to put them on the ground; they had to climb through the car to their seats. I scoured each crevice of their faces, scraping sand out of their nostrils, out from the folds in their ears, from around the hair roots in their eyebrows, and from the gooey corners of their eyes. They hated it.

Thanks Dad. You could've just used baby powder to get the sand off. Duh.