Tuesday 25 November 2008 (28 Dhul Qa`dah 1429)
The Gulf tourist
Khaled Al-Sulaiman I Okaz
IF you happen to travel abroad, look at foreign tourists and compare him
with those from the Arab Gulf region. The foreign tourist will most likely plan
his trip day by day while the Gulf tourist will have no ready program but will
leave it to work out itself day after day and hour by hour.
The foreign tourist is keen to visit museums, as well as historical and
tourist sites while the Gulf tourist will roam through markets, sit in cafes
and hang out where other Arab Gulf tourists hang out.
The foreign tourist will be fatigued by his daily activities while the
feet of the Gulf tourist will be tired from his walk in the markets; his
stomach will ache from too much food and his eyes will be dazzled by observing
his other fellow Gulf tourists.
For the foreign tourist, the vacation is a rare opportunity to learn
about the lives, traditions and cuisines of other people. For the Gulf tourist,
the vacation is a chance to meddle in the lives of other Gulf tourists who
happen to be with him in the same place. It is also an opportunity for him to
forget his traditions and values. Ironically, the Gulf tourist is usually
looking for the very Arab food that he left at home.
The foreign tourist will live within a limited budget and control his
expenses. The Gulf tourist will spend all the money in his pocket and may
return home broke or in serious debt.
The foreign tourist will return home dragging behind him a single
suitcase while the Gulf tourist will be pulling at least 10 after him.