This is really beginning to bother me now. A man and his car is a relationship. It is like family. It is a love affair. A man and his car are two parts of a single entity.. the complete man. I love my cars. I have loved all my cars, even my father’s cars. That 1987 Caprice Classic.. phew what a car! 8 cylinder beauty that drove so smooth you could dance on the roads with it!
Anyway, why am I bothered?
Because , here in Riyadh.. the car you drive is part of your appearance. You could be a Prince ,but if you are driving an old corolla, you get NO respect anywhere. Here is my first hand experience at the Four Season’s Hotel, Kingdom Center. Now, they have Valet Parking. I have driven Mercedes, Jaguar, Altima and other nice cars ( I change cars alot) there from the time the hotel opened. Most of the staff, the supervisors know me by face. They wave at me, say ” Hello Sir” and greet me every time I go there. They have even parked my car in exclusive places. They have been nice always. One day, I had a rented Mazda 3 ( I Love this car and everything about it). I drive into the hotel and NO ONE TURNS TO EVEN LOOK!.. I sat there in the car and even waved at me ole’ faithful supervisor, he glanced and looked away! Man, no matter what car it is, no matter who is in it.. it’s a customer who wants you to park his car, RIGHT?
So I made noise. HONK HONK!.. he turned and looked with disgust…came closer ( I felt he was going to tell me to keep moving to the exit).. then he saw my face. He smiled, shocked. Opened the door.. and said ” Oh sir! It is you”… I asked him about his excellent behaviour minutes ago. He said..” oh hee hee heee hey he”… So, I told him.. Does the car matter? ” Unfortunately , yes sir”.. WHY?? Anyone could be driving this. And it is NOT a junky car. It is a small-sized sedan with sports options and it is GOOD. He made up the most absurd excuse ” Sir this car only shabab driving.. we strict with them”.. ( this car is driven by young guys who are to be treated like dirt anyway!)… But let a Shabab drive in with a ferrari and watch this guy kiss the wheels!
Thats not all. People talk. I had a WONDERFUL Opel Omega, V6 – Full options, 3.2 ltr Engine. Unique Silver, Alloy wheels. I loved it. A german car which was EXCELLENT to drive. Society did not forgive me for owning it! My neighbors kept asking me to get a new car! Why? Because the price of this car, used, is not so high!!.. I was even told this : you are a business owner, you should be driving the new Mercedes 500 SEL atleast! What the HELL!?? Who will buy it for me, your DAD??? Just because I own business , it does not mean I am a billionnaire!
So, when they see you driving a car, they evaluate its current market price and decide your level. Even the checkpoint officers on the highway treat you differently! TOTALLY ABSURD!
Men like to update their cars, do things with it. They want their cars to reflect their creativity and mood. But, in Riyadh, you cannot do all that. You have to be an abnormal guy who does what society dictates or a rebel like me who does not give a damn, but does find it STUPID to buy things not for your comfort but to please others! Meet or don’t , respect me or don’t , your choice. I don’t want fake friends anyway!
Like, for example, the trend in buying SUVs. A family of 2 people need an SUV badly because they need it. BS! They want to be socially acceptable!..
DUM DUM DUM!