I tell westerners often what a safe place Saudi is to live, but national news events of late have, perhaps, sullied the words of those who live here on the daily. I offer you this anecdote as proof:
The man in this picture is a gas station attendant. You are not allowed to pump your own gas in Saudi. Besides being grueling work – between the fumes and the heat and the full-length dress that is common in the middle east – I can’t think of many jobs I’d loathe more.
Not only are you not allowed to pump your own gas, but all gas transactions are cash only. No pay-at-the-pump, and no pay-inside-at-the-register. It’s strictly cash payments to the person who pumps your gas.
As a result, the attendants end up with pockets full of cash. Thick rolls of cash, including a lot of big bills. Getting gas is actually how I break any large bill in Saudi, as businesses often keep very little cash in their registers.
Now imagine this scenario in America. A person standing outside all day holding a wad of cash. People paying from their cars. And the video surveillance here is nothing compared to the States.
And yet, in Saudi, there is almost no worry of the attendant being robbed.
This is a safe place to live.