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Archive for October, 2009

StarbucksThanks to Starbucks, now Frappuccino and Latte been added to the Saudi vocabulary.  The gourmet coffee empire is one of the most recognizable brands in the U.S and recently in Saudi Arabia.  Starbucks shops’ theme colors are known for their royal green and white letters .  Maybe Saudis are subliminally attracted to Starbucks, because of the common colors that you can find in Starbucks shops and the Saudi flag; green with white letters,…who knows?

There is a certain lifestyle that drive young hip Saudis to go to  Starbucks and spend a lot of money for the sake of having their cup of coffee.  Usually Starbucks’ image is associated with COOL people who like to carry their Macbook laptops wherever they go, listen to their iPod,  and enjoy this “Americana” lifestyle that been dominating a lot of young Saudis’ manifesto.  Some people  enjoy the culture that Starbucks hold more than having an expensive cup of cappuccino.   Just by holding a cup of coffee that has the Starbucks logo on it , it makes you feel that you belong to a special click in society.  So next time you order coffee from Starbucks make sure you keep the “to go” cup with you as a social acceptance tool.

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poetryPoetry is one of the oldest forms of art that people still enjoy.  For Saudis; the word enjoy is not enough  when you talk about poetry, they reach a state of emotions so intense that it can carry them beyond rational thoughts and self control when they are dealing with poetry. Yes poetry is old school, but Saudis brought it back and it has never been more entertaining.  From poems that praise leaders and high profile people to poems that describe  woman’s beauty (especially her eyes and hair) Saudis love it.  A lot of Saudis master the art of poetry, some of them go public and start publishing their poems, others they keep it in the down low as a secret hobby.

A poem does not have to contain complicated words or words we never heard about to make it sounds fancy, but some people like to “spice up” their poems.  How they perform and say poems is also a big deal for Saudis, you don’t want to put someone  to sleep when you are reciting a poem.  You can write “gibberish” poems as long as you deliver it in an exciting way, people will clap and cheer for you.

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thobe_abyaSaudis no longer live like Chess board pieces where men wear white and women wear black.  Saudi Thobes and Abayas have been upgraded to new  and stylish trends, with different colors and fancy graphics… call them the Versace of Saudi clothes.  Nowadays, stylish Thobes and Abayas are considered the normal outfit for everyday wear; as a matter of fact, people who still wear the old traditional Thobe and Abaya will be looked at as if they come from the past through a time machine.

It is well known that part of a Saudi woman’s addictions are top designer brands.  You see them styling Louis Vuitton or Chanel Abayas.  Now if you ask me, ” Do Louis Vuitton make Abayas as part of their clothing line?”.   I am not sure, but everything is possible in Saudi.  Other Saudis like to wear their Abayas with a lot of glitter, as if they fell inside a disco ball.

Saudi men compete with women when it comes to how stylish their traditional clothes are.  From fancy graphics or embroidary to Thobes that make you ask, “Is it a man’s dress?”.  In the end of the day, Thobes will be Thobes and Abayas will be Abayas no matter what.

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RestaurantIt does not matter what kind of restaurant it is; as long its new in town, Saudis will camp in front of it. The grand opening of a new restaurant is always critical, Saudis always plan a strategy ahead of time to get in first.  It’s not like the restaurant will change their menu or their food after a week from the grand opening; but people like to be the first to try it, just to tell about their experience to the rest of their family and friends…. it’s the idea of telling people about new stuff in town is what Saudis like.

All of a sudden, each member of the family will turn into a food critic, and start rambling on how good the food is.   Not only food is being judged; but also service, decor, and other people who are sitting in the restaurant.  If  someone found  an item on the menu that they like, that’s it..he or she will be ordering the same order aka “the usual” until the  restaurant runs out of it.

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