Driving the Saudis: A Chauffeur's Tale of the World's Richest Princesses (plus their servants, nannies, and one royal hairdresser)

Driving the Saudis: A Chauffeur's Tale of the World's Richest Princesses (plus their servants, nannies, and one royal hairdresser)

Jayne Amelia Larson

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 1451640013

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The true-to-life account of a female chauffeur hired to drive the Saudi royal family in Los Angeles.

After more than a decade of working in Hollywood, actress Jayne Amelia Larson found herself out of luck, out of work, and out of prospects.

When she got hired to drive for the Saudi royal family vaca­tioning in Beverly Hills, Larson thought she’d been handed the golden ticket. She’d heard stories of the Saudis bestowing $20,000 tips and Rolex watches on their drivers, but when the family arrived at LAX with twenty million dollars in cash, Larson realized that she might be in for the ride of her life.

With awestruck humor and deep compassion, Larson shares the incredible insights she gained as the lone female in a detail of more than forty chauffeurs assigned to drive a beautiful Saudi princess, her family, and their extensive entourage.

At its heart, this is an upstairs-downstairs, true-to-life fable for our global times; a story about the corruption that nearly infinite wealth causes, and about what we all do for money. Equal parts funny, surprising, and insightful, Driving the Saudis provides both entertainment and sharp social commentary on one of the world’s most secretive families.

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because the client was pissed off that the driver hadn’t instantly known the address of a restaurant even though the client had not actually given the correct name of that restaurant and that is why the driver couldn’t place it. There was a terrific attrition rate, and the casualties were staggering. We were totally expendable. I listened to Charles’s counsel, knowing that he had my best interest at heart, and I held firm against the onslaught. I was going to fly under the radar as low and as

pack to send home. They even eschewed the magnificent orange Hermès boxes, which can double as installation art. My designer friend, Theodore, has a collection that he uses to decorate a house when he’s staging it for selling. He arranges them artfully in the wardrobe closets as if they were priceless sculptures and keeps an eye on the count as people tour the home because they’re frequently pilfered. All the booty would be thrown into the back of a waiting van that would make periodic runs back

was obvious that she was following the action. She hissed something in Arabic in our general direction, and Zuhur jumped at her words. “Yes, here is cash.” Zuhur handed me another wad of hundreds, about a thousand dollars. “The princess she says three iPhone. You must bring now. Three iPhone. Okay? Yalla! [Hurry.] Yalla!” “But they won’t work if she doesn’t sign up for service.” I said this very clearly and loudly to be certain that Anisa could also hear. “She has to give them a credit card,

real and therefore more temporary. During the Saudi job, every now and then someone who did know that I was chauffeuring would call me to see if I was free to see a movie or have dinner. The ensuing conversations usually went something like this: “I’m sorry. I’m just too busy to meet,” I’d say. “Okay,” they’d say. “Then let’s get together on your day off.” “I don’t have any days off. We’ll have to get together in a month.” “No days off at all? Who are you driving?” “Members of the Saudi

days, usually until we were both satisfied that we had reached a full understanding. This progressive round-robin of conversation became a regular and fruitful routine between us. “Allah is great, and all the Jews is evil and all should be killed,” Maysam said as she continued ironing the outfit that she had decided to wear for the day. Her long pants were a robin’s egg blue poplin, and even though they’d just been dry-cleaned by the hotel, she liked to press a fresh crease in the legs before

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