Observations of Distinctions Between USA and KSA

Of course there are many distinctions between USA and KSA and I’ll try to touch on various ones with different blog posts. Today I’m going to write about driving, parking and attitudes! As we continue to be in the USA with family who has not been to the States before it is interesting and enlightening to see the USA through new eyes.

We took a drive to the old seaport city of Galveston, Texas. This was about a one hour drive from Houston. A family member was driving and here is where new observations began. Of course it not only started with all the female drivers that one does not see in Saudi Arabia but also with all the female drivers who were behind the wheels of huge and tall four wheel drive pick up trucks! After all, this is Texas where most things are oversized, to include its pick up trucks! My family member also remarked on how orderly and polite the drivers were. There was none of the fighting to get in to the appropriate lane or the constant quest to be in the fastest lane like one sees and experiences in Saudi Arabia. Not only did drivers let others in to the necessary lane but did so with a wave and a smile.

Once we arrived in Galveston we made our way to a parking lot so we could walk around and explore the historic area of the city. To all of our surprise the parking lot was an “honor lot” where each parking slot had a number which corresponded to numbers on this large box with slots. One was to put their parking contribution into the correlating slot on the large box. There was no sign to say how much one should contribute but there was a large notice which did say failure to pay would result in towing. Not only had I never seen a parking lot like this before in America I cannot begin to imagine how such a parking lot would fare in Saudi Arabia!

Our relative also remarked repeatedly his surprise on how orderly everyone parked in the USA as well. I sensitized him that unlike Saudi Arabia if one does not park appropriately they’ll likely receive a parking ticket with a hefty fine attached to it.

And last of all our family member keeps repeating about the openness and the friendliness of the American people. He likes how people in the United States naturally meet rather than avert the eyes and usually smile and say Hello.


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