[This is part of the series: A List of Things I Remember About Living In Saudi Arabia.]
By: Sterling Terrell
I remember driving from Taif to Jeddah.
Coming into Saudi Arabia, we would fly into Jeddah and then drive to our compound in Taif.
Leaving the country, or anytime wanted a weekend away, we would have to drive back to Jeddah.
It was a trip me made back and forth many times.
First, there are only 2 ways to drive from Taif to Jeddah and back.
You can take what we called The Escarpment – which is the shorter way – but it hurls you off the 6,000 foot plateau, where the city of Taif sits, onto a switchback mountain road of knee-weakening drop-offs.
The other way you can go, we called Snake Road – it is the longer way to go – but gets you there with less whiplash.
At some point in our years in Saudi Arabia we started driving Snake Road every-time we left for Jeddah or returned home.
But those first few years…
Those first few years, we drove The Escarpment, and my dad ate on a bag of pistachios in the car the entire way.
Back and forth, back and forth, I would get a little more nauseous in the back seat with each curve.
I would hear another pistachio crack open.
We would swerve to miss someone not staying on their side of the road.
Finally, I would lay down int he back seat. More curves, more pistachios cracking open.
To this day, the smell of pistachios makes my stomach turn.