Monday, 21 February 2011

Car Parking Riyadh Style

Riyadh, like cities the world over, has some unique car parking quirks.  Why write about parking issues?   Because, the other day, in Auckland, my usually guaranteed parking spot was full.  A lantern festival was on up the road and all available parks in a sizable radius from said festival had been taken.  Exclamations of 'darn' and 'bother' soon became 'bugger' and a combination of other more vehement 4 letter swear words.

Don't you just detest driving in circles trying to find a place to park?  Don't you detest it even more when it's a hot day, the air-con is broken and it's painfully obvious no-one is leaving!!

It occurred to me during this rather frustrating process that if I was in Riyadh 'No Parking' signs would mean absolutely nothing.

There are times, and this was one of them, when I think the Riyadh attitude to driving law and order (a.k.a. - What road rules??) is a jolly good idea.  I mean, why should I heed the yellow 'no parking' lines painted on the corner of streets - perfectly good parking positions those are.  And a bit of car protruding in the way of everybody else is only an issue for everybody else.

The first time Glenn hired a car in Riyadh I asked him to take me to the bookshop.  On our approach to the store there were cars holding up the traffic on Olaya Street because they were jockeying for 'Directly Outside the Door' position three deep out into the road.

For a newby from more organised societies this carry on often produces the typical "What the heck is goin on?" reaction.  The answer is simple....This is Riyadh. 

During popular shopping hours at popular shopping venues the cars are often parked three deep out into the lanes with drivers waiting patiently within and motors running.  It seems that women must be dropped off and picked up almost directly out front of any intended destination. 

Yes it's a little chaotic and I'm guessing that after a long or bad day it could sorely test your patience inching up to the correct Directly Out Front of the Door spot before allowing your passengers to disembark (I don't know that for sure because I'm not allowed to drive and I usually catch a taxi who drops me up the street a little) but it's accepted practice and it's quite interesting to watch. 

I do wonder why they do this?  Is it because it's too hot to walk any further.  Or is it so the men can ensure the women actually enter the building without being harassed.  Poisoned by car exhaust fumes...but not harassed.

Glenn decided, without any regard for "why" that he was going to deliver me to the bookshop Saudi style.  I was instructed to stay in the vehicle while he got his caveman 'caring for my woman' jollies and dropped me off directly outside the doorway to the shop...three cars out from the curb.
He thought he was really clever.  I thought lots of other things.....

....On this particular day in Auckland I had to pay nine bucks for a space in a privately run multi-storey car park.  A flaming rip off when you're only stopping for an hour.  For nine bucks an hour I'd expect the condition of the car park to be similar to Riyadh private car parks. 

And what condition is that Kiwi?
Spit polished, shiny and sparkling.
No way Kiwi.
Yes way!

This is the car park at the building where Hubster works.

The suit and bald head is Glenn.

Love the shine.

Forget about parking the car - I think I could live in this Riyadh car park!

Ka Kite,


  1. Your design of the blog is really eye-catching. More over the content is also very productive. Information you have provided is really very beneficial.

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  2. You will also have the chance to watch the sightseeing around. Driving your car, you must be concentrated and you miss a lot of significant things.automoves


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