Nov 14, 2019 7M Views 25.5K Comments

SAUDI ARABIA was nothing like I expected! Part 1 of many videos about the mysterious Kingdom. The long journey starts in Riyadh.

These are my steps out of the hotel.
Gotta say.
Feel a little out of place.
It’s hot.
It’s a different world
and I’m super pumped.
I don’t necessarily fit in
but wouldn’t be the first time.
It’s a car city I’m gathering.
First impressions…
Taxi guys are honking.
There is no way to cross this street.
I’m trying to get over this
thing to the shady side.
[cars passing]
And that’s how you
cross the street in Riyadh.
I was just walking by one of these shops
and I asked these guys to use the bathroom
and they brought me in.
I used the bathroom and
then they sat me down for tea
and dates.
Super nice guys.
Very hospitable
but I’m not at the point yet to just
run the camera on that stuff
and so
what I’m feeling so far
and it’s just a feeling
that putting the camera on
things is a little more difficult
than say, some other places I’ve been.
The first 24 hours in a
radically different culture
are interesting because your mind is…
Your mind is just processing
all this new information.
Things are laid out different.
They look different.
They taste different
and so
I love that little window.
That first 24 hours
’cause after that
things start to normalize
and you’re somewhat used to it.
Where right now I’m in that mode of
I don’t know what the hell is going on
and it’s pretty cool.
It’s the unknown
for sure.
There we go.
Good money?
Better than Dubai?,
Better money here?
Sir, can you open the door?
First Salat, right?
First Salat, right?
-Yes sir.
Okay, five times a day?
Cool, thanks man.
I’ll return.
Super interesting Starbucks experience.
he locked the door.
They do that five times a day for Salat.
Which is the prayer time.
Behind me on the other side
was the women’s side of Starbucks
was the women’s side of Starbucks
[car horn]
and they’re completely separated.
I don’t know who this guy is.
but he’s fired up.
Salamu alaykum.
Where you from?
-I show Riyadh.
-Yeah, this is first time in Riyadh?
-First time, man.
First day.
-First day?
Oh, when you come?
-Do I want a ride with you?
-Yeah, bro.
Let’s do it.
Very, very interesting so far.
What’s your name?
Can I put this here, Muhammad?
Nice car Muhammad.
-Thank you.
Man, I’m on a different planet right now
but I like it.
No, planet.
It’s only a hundred degrees.
So what’s that?
What is it, 40 Celsius?
The degree?
-It’s 39.
-Dude, your country is
really growing.
It feels like.
Oh, that’s kingdom tower.
Do you think it’s a dangerous city at all?
Not at all?
-No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Like very little crime?
Women are driving.
That started a year ago, right?
How do people feel about that?
Depends who, obviously.
So it’s exciting time
to be Saudi?
-Young Saudi, it’s an exciting time.
That’s cool.
You guys are all about Starbucks, man.
I feel like it’s Southern California
meets the Islamic world.
Something like that.
-The trending.
Yeah, show me the trending, bro.
-Yeah, let’s go.
From Kuwait, okay.
So what I’m seeing in my
well I’m now at two hours
of being out in the streets.
What I’m seeing here in this country
is a ton of development.
A lot of new development.
A lot of new businesses.
And so here’s a crazy stat.
I think I’m right on this one
but it’s
50% of the Saudi population
is 25 and younger.
♪ house music ♪
Yeah, where we going?
Okay, it’s a surprise, cool.
Muhammad’s a true
class guy.
He’s got a lot of class.
So tell me about this though Muhammad.
But how long ago were
cinemas allowed here?
So in the last two years
this is something new.
People can go to the movie theaters.
It’s men and women that can go
or just men?
Men and women can go?
You sit in separate sides though, right?
So this is the completed version, right?
What is this neighborhood called?
You guys love your malls, huh?
Taking video like this is okay, right?
No head scarf?
The woman has no…
-No, the woman’s headscarf.
-When did that start?
But some women
it’s legal for them to walk around without?
What Muhammad was telling me is
it’s all about the malls here.
When Saudis have time off
and want to hang out
a lot of them hang out in malls.
And I’m not a mall guy but I gotta say
this one’s pretty nice.
I was given strict instructions
from Muhammad not to
video any woman.
That’s why we don’t have
any close-ups let’s say.
Usually that’s always
a touchy thing anyways.
Putting a camera in someone’s face.
I don’t enjoy it
but when there’s a moment and
you sort of get that non-verbal go-ahead.
Well, that’s what makes
the videos interesting.
It’s touch and go.
Every culture is different.
So in Saudi right
now I’m a little bit like…
Feeling my
Feeling my ground let’s say.
Hey, salam.
-Hello, how are you?
-Good brother.
I don’t know anything.
Been here a limited time
but from my first impressions
it’s one of these places that’s definitely
At least in Riyadh.
At least in the capital city.
Muhammad, you just moved back from
the UK.
Like a month ago?
-No, two weeks ago.
-Two weeks ago?
And you were saying you have a bunch of
tats on your arms
and two years ago you would
have been in prison for that?
-And now?
-Now I’m okay.
I can do whatever I want.
I like the changes here in Saudi Arabia.
-And this is your wife?
-My girlfriend.
-Your girlfriend
how long?
-One month.
Okay, two years ago could you do this?
-I can’t.
I can’t chill out with my girl.
So now we can do whatever we want.
That’s why I’m here.
If they still same, I would be in UK.
I wouldn’t come back.
But you like it much better now?
-Yeah, now I like my country.
I feel like I’m free.
I do whatever I want.
We are staying in a hotel.
Me and my girlfriend.
You guys stay in a hotel
and no problem with the hotel owner?
-No, no, no.
Okay, this is just in Riyadh though, right?
In the countryside it’s different?
-Yeah in Riyadh.
That’s mean freedom in Arabic.
And this is peace flag as well.
-Oh, nice.
You got a lot of tats.
-I like freedom and peace.
That’s it.
That’s what I want with my life.
And Popeye’s?
Two, three years ago
they force you to go to the mosque.
If you don’t
they take you to the police department
and they cut your hair.
I feel like I was living with ISIS here.
ISIS rules.
-But now?
-Now as you like.
If you want to be Christian
they don’t care.
How does that change in two years?
Two years, it changed that quickly?
Because of the power.
Mohammad bin Salman.
He is really powerful, yeah.
And most people are
cool with these changes?
Yeah, the majority of them accept it but
religious people never gonna change.
So five times a day the shops close?
-Yeah, five times a day they close.
-For how long?
-20 minutes, 15 minutes.
Even Victoria’s Secret Pink places.
-And most of them, they don’t pray
I don’t know why they close.
My head is spinning.
So much information.
-Yeah, you get a surprise here
in Saudi Arabia.
I have been
I’ve been here for four hours.
Now we can do this.
Like two years ago we can’t.
Hold each other in the mall?
Hold each other in the mall?
-Walk around with my girlfriend.
-In style.
In public, I walk with my girlfriend.
Very classy, Mo.
You’re a true gentleman
and you’re styling in a nice car.
Just in the mall.
-He wants you to make a video for him.
So, in the mall
and I met Mo
and princess back here.
Mo’s like,
“Yeah, let me take you downtown.”
So here I am again.
-Welcome, my new friend.
Seat belt, please.
I met a Muhammad this morning
who also picked me up in a very nice car.
Seems to be the theme here.
Mo, you were saying
you have six of these cars?
And you have drivers out there
Other people, they pay taxes?
Yeah if you have a shop.
Just 5%, nothing.
-5% that’s it?
-Jeez man, that’s amazing.
♪ house music ♪
Okay, have a nice evening.
-You’re a legend, brother.
-Thank you, man.
-Thank you.
Good times, man.
-God bless you, man.
-God bless you.
Take care, bro.
And that…
That’s that.
Two locals
both named Muhammad.
Both drove me around for the day.
Showed me the city.
Spectacular first day.
And now I’m at
I don’t even know what this is.
This is a center square of sorts
let’s check it out.
[metal detector beeping]

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