Yes fashion have been around for decades, and fashion designers were living with us since humans discovered clothes. But the past few years there are specific group of people that started yapping about fashion in the social media which we can’t ignore, they consider themselves the gods of fashion and anyone who disagrees with them will be doomed and may not return back to their home safe, they are more dangerous than the Mafia (so you gotta be careful when you talk about our beloved fashionistas).
Basically fashionistas advocates that normal middle-class people has no idea what to wear or how to match your purse with your shoes, so you need to listen to what our fashion gods tell you what to wear; and the more bizarre the outfit the better. The problem that I have with fashionistas is, when they try to market certain designer brands that cost a fortune and they tell you that this is the way to go…which does not make sense. You can buy your clothes from any Panada supermarket in your neighborhood and look like a million bucks, or from a high end designer store and look like a clown.
Its about time to talk about the long lasting trend that took Saudis by storm, yes I had a blog about # 41 Black Coffee but this blog will be dedicated specifically to V60 Coffee and all the rituals and shenanigans that comes with it. First you need to buy the tools and equipment to get started. Ok, get your pen and paper ready; the following are the equipment that you need, dripper funnel, kettle, grinder, scale, measuring spoon, boiler with thermostat, unicorn tears, dragon hair, birds milk, and of course you can’t forget angel fart . You get all this before even purchasing your coffee beans. Now for the coffee beans, mainly you gotta bring it from a tropical place where they harvest the perfect blend of coffee with child labor. Now you are ready to open your V60 cafe among thousands of V60 cafes in the kingdom, and serve almost if not the exact copy-paste menu as the rest, good luck.
I will not share with you how to make a V60 coffee step by step, because in order to do so, I need to write a whole 200-page book to show you how, put in mind… it will take you almost 72 hours to prepare your coffee, and we are just talking about a single cup.
With the Netsex I mean Netflix movement that took Saudis by storm the past few years, watching movies became the most poplar spare time activity Saudis enjoy. With movie theaters and Netflix everywhere, now each Saudi became a sophisticated movie critic; forget about IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, just get your review from any Saudi who claims that he knows the name of bunch of Hollywood directors and talk about how great thriller movies are. See, romantic comedy and horror movies will not do it for Saudis, it has to be thriller movies, and if it’s a movie with a mind-twist plot and an ending that makes you wonder what in the hell just happened and all of a sudden the credits show up on your screen, it will make any Saudi who is into movies reach climax in no time.
This blog is kind of four years late, but as the cliché goes; better late than never. Yes I referred to Twitter and the social media movement in my previous blogs (check my # 39 social media blog), but Twitter deserves a blog by itself. See, Saudis favorite social media platform is Twitter with no doubt, the reason rely on the way Twitter shows your profile on the top of the page followed by your tweets. By doing so, it gives creditability to the person owning that Twitter account, and it conveys an image to the world that you are someone important and people need to read whatever you tweet; which is what Saudis are striving for since inception. There is another reason why Saudis like Twitter… and they mainly see in it a preferred way of communication, but the reason is kind of political and thats why I will not be mentioning it here because I am writing this blog in WordPress not Twitter.
If you are not into coffee but you want to look like a coffee connoisseur, you must get one of those fancy Nespresso machines to set the stage. No need to know how the Nespresso machine works, just keep it there for decoration and to persuade certain image; eventually it will be used as a dust collector . And in case someone asked you to prepare them a coffee using your Nespresso, don’t worry, just tell them that you ran out of capsules. In addition, you don’t want to buy the Nespresso coffee (trust me) it taste like burned leather.
The Nespresso stores that you find them in shopping malls are different story. Their stores is like walking into high-end jewelry place, it reminds me of Patchi chocolates stores (check my blog on Patchi). Salesmen wearing black suites and white gloves, lights are dimmed, and low Jazz music playing in the background. If you are going to buy a Nespresso machine, make sure you have deep pockets, since you are not buying a regular coffee maker, you are purchasing the Rolex of coffee makers.
Fifi Abdou is an Egyptian icon that started her career in the showbiz as a belly dancer; we can consider her as one of the founders of the modern belly dancing out there. Arabs all over the middle east used to travel to Egypt just to watch Fifi Abdou move her belly. Later in Fif’s career, she entered the TV scene and starred in so many TV shows and movies, by playing the same role in every movie and show she is in. Fif’s role in movies is always the typical traditional Egyptian lady who used to live in poor areas and some how she became filthy rich. But this blog is not about Fif’s biography per se, it is about why Saudis like Fifi Abdou. Saudis (mainly females) see in Fif’s character a strong confident woman with a witty humor which makes her very likable, and I believe also that some of Saudi females would love to be like her and have the same characteristics as Fifi Abdou.
ZARA aka the Saudi uniform, this clothing company is the love and joy for the majority of Saudis. When Saudis would like to upgrade their wardrobe, they head to one of ZARA’s stores that are located everywhere you go around the kingdom. ZARA’s style is basic and elegant, mainly you will see either black clothes or white clothes; which is perfect for Saudis, as you know as a Saudi “playing it safe” is our motto in life. Another reason why I believe Saudis like to shop from ZARA is the same reason they like to ride Lexus (check my Lexus blog). ZARA is not Gucci nor its a high end designer brand, however if you can pull it off, ZARA can make you look like a million bucks; and thats why this thought is appealing to Saudis . See, the manikins on the window store can be very deceiving, which will get some of us, and make us think that we can look exactly like those manikins. Once anyone tries on a ZARA dress shirt, and you know those shirt are designed in a way to be a little be tight to fit, you will able to see bellybuttons from the gap that was created by your belly and the tight shirt; you get the picture. And yes don’t forget sometimes you will be witnessing man-boobs hanging trying to breath.
Few years ago, if you drive around Saudi Arabia you will notice the amount of food trucks parked all over the place. Food trucks became a trend in Saudi when the middle upper class kids started the era of entrepreneur “wanna be”, since operating a food truck will cost a lot of money, it make sense that those young entrepreneur are the ones who can offered it, plus its trendy and cool to drive around and sell over priced burgers. Side note; 50% of food trucks in Saudi Arabia sell burgers and the other 50% sell crepes with Nutella (check my other blog on Nutella)… we like to keep it simple; savory or sweet, period.
The way I see it, food trucks here in Saudi is a bubble that will burst soon if it didn’t already. The reason is because our business model for food trucks are upside down…this statement make me sound like a business connoisseur, so I will keep it.
In the summer of 1998, I visited Spain with my family and I observed most, if not all locals start their day with a drink of espresso in the morning; no where I can find anything that has to do with something called Spanish Latte! So I wondered from where did we come up with this drink here in Saudi Arabia? and why Spanish Latte is so popular among Saudis? Every café you go to, the most popular beverage is Spanish Latte. My curiosity made me order one Spanish Latter to give it a shot… when I received my coffee I realized that the barista gave me a large cold cup of full fat milk, so I asked … where is the coffee? The barista said and pointed out, can you see that drop of espresso inside?… swimming in the ocean of milk, that’s your coffee. So I drank my milk and paid 28 SAR and left the place. When you take a look around cafés in Saudi Arabia, the demographic will give you a hint that, yes it will make sense that milk will be the most consumed drink in those places. That’s why Spanish Latte is the go to beverage for our delicate “new baby boomers”.
I am not saying there is no market for Spanish Latte, but I believe it has nothing to do with Spain nor coffee.
If Saudis would like to show that they made it in this world, it will not be through fancy cars nor expensive watches… it will simply be a pen hanging in their Thoub’s pocket or in case of females it will be in their purse, but wait a minute; it will not be any pen… it will be the famous MontBlanc® pen with its white David star logo sticking out. For Saudis MontBlanc® pens are symbol of wealth, it shows you that this person can offered a 2000 Saudi Riyal pen to just sign bunch of paper or bank cheques not less than one million Riyals, normally this is what its used for ; to showcase your signature, not to write with it…the pen will reduce its value and your value if you write with it. Sometimes people will not realize that you are holding a MontBlanc® so the plan is, you need to make up some story to pull out the pen and show it to your target audience, like for instance, you bought the pen when it was on sale in Germany for a good deal, afterwards you can hold your MontBlanc® high and wave it around as if you are in one of Lionel Richie concerts.