Monday, July 11, 2005

Flirting in the family section? :: Arab News

QUOTE\ Despite the fact that all public places in the Kingdom have to have family sections separate from single ones, most coffee shops confine their services to families. Frustrated by such rules, singles usually seek ways to sneak into family sections in malls and funfairs, often accompanied by kids and housemaids.
. . .
“I thought it was quite funny,” said Joshua, an American resident. “I went with a couple of my friends with their female friends into one of those coffee shops and although none of us were related, we had to go into the family section.”

The atmosphere in such places is tempting too. “The low lighting and the partitions that some coffee shops afford customers make them a perfect place to meet a female friend, away from society’s iron fist,” Ali Al-Harbi confessed.
. . .
“The choices of places to hang around in Jeddah are limited,” said Nahla Ali. Her friend, Sarah Al-Gonami, added: “It’s malls, restaurants and malls again; there is no cinema or even a park. Everyone who is hip and cool has to go to these places and show off in front of others.” When asked why, she answered: “What else can we do in Jeddah? It’s not Paris, you know.”

“Every coffee shop has to come up with fresh new ideas all the time in order to maintain its reputation among customers,” said one of the coffee shop owners. Karaoke competitions, huge TV screens featuring the famous American series, “Friends,” live DJs playing music from the 1970s and 1980s and even live cooking shows: These are just a few of the activities in Jeddah’s coffee shops. But to enjoy it all, there’s not much point in going early. /UNQUOTE


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