Saturday, September 08, 2012

The Walk of Shame: Cabinas

I had this discussion with my girlfriends this weekend regarding cabinas or the little private rooms in restaurants.  My friend, V, said that when she first arrived in Kuwait, she thought the rooms were quaintly reserved for VIP's so that they could dine in private.  Yeah, that's a real nice thought.  Only wrong.

Yes, the idea behind the cabina is to allow for families with veiled ladies to dine in private so that no one sees faces.  The idea, like many good ideas, was perverted in the 90's to a place you could take your date to have sex.  Yes, there I have said it:  to have sex.  Cabinas were outfitted with solid floor-to-ceiling doors; some which locked from the inside.  Unscrupulous restaurant workers would look the other way for a few KD while "immoral activities" took place....

Until the municipality imposed a law dictating that doors could not close all the way.  Now, cabinas are supposed to have swinging doors or ones that only have partial privacy.

Of course, the use for cabinas has continued to be for family private dining;  as long as you have a few kids in tow, you are good to go and no one lifts an eyebrow (personally, I believe that all screaming kids should be put into cabinas as to not disturbed civilized folk).   Unfortunately, if you are a single couple with no children, you are going to draw attention to yourselves walking into or out of a cabina; especially if the restaurant is busy:  Ergo the "Walk of Shame".

I can count the number of times I have dined in a cabina during my 16 year life in Kuwait on one hand.  I believe #2 was the guy I didn't know well who invited me (then a naiive newbie to Kuwait) to dine in a cabina and proceeded to try to forcibly kiss me during dinner.  Ick.  (I thought we were there for the food.)  Other times were reserved for groups of my friends and I when we wanted to dine in private.

Would I now accept an invitation from a man wanting do dine with me alone in a cabina?  Hell to tha no!  I find it disrespectful on several levels; first and foremost because I believe that if he doesn't want to be seen with me in public, then he doesn't deserve to be seeing me at all.  Second because of the negative connotation (kind of like walking out of a Motel 6 room at lunchtime while adjusting your skirt).  Aint gonna happen my friends.

Do any of you have funny cabina stories?


American Girl said...

OMG, I totally forgot about how they once had fully closed doors! AND the waiter would actually ring a little bell so they could be unlocked by the people inside!

About a decade ago I was introduced to a 'nice' guy through a truly dear friend who apparently didn't know how to judge nice guys. We were to meet, have dinner, and see how things went. Me, the trusting and unsuspecting one, had NO CLUE about the connotation attached to the private dining option. I actually thought he was trying to spend time alone with me away from the noisy crowds. However, the fact he seemed more interested in talking about his new BMW 745 and Nokia phone (yeah, waaaaay back in the day) should have been a clue. Before the food arrived he was nice, talkative, but then tried to be too friendly and I explained THAT just wasn't the kind of dinner we were having. I was starving by the way. Food comes, I'm trying to get busy with some tikka, and dude pulls out his penis and asks if I would like some of that too! Yes, yes, yes, whipped it out right there during my meal!

Long story short, if ANYONE took the walk of shame that night it was HIM. I was quite vocal about my disgust. Loudly demanded the Manager of the restaurant call me a taxi, continued to YELL at Mr. 'Nice' Guy as he's trying to sneak out the door, then suggested calling the police. Surely anyone having dinner there that night got a ton of entertainment. Perhaps I'm the reason all doors are swinging now? lol

So yeah, been there ONCE.

The Kuwaiti Godfather said...

I used to work for Seven Seas a while back and they used to have those VIP sections for guest. I remember the one time when I seen a woman fully covered in black walk in with a man but the weird thing is when they walked out to pick which fish she wanted to order she was in this white silky dress with full make-up and looked like a doll. It is shocking when you see it and yeah a lot of kinky things happen behind those closed doors as some of my friends there told me.

FYI Why would someone not want to be seen with ya? And I too don't like eating behind closed door. I have never done it. A few years back I used to be scared/shy of eating in public but that has gradually changed which is a great thing :)

Expat and the City said...

@ AG ~ OMG! Hahahahahahahaha!!! I needed that laugh today. Why do they just pull it out like that? Do they think because we are Western girls we will just jump on it in a restaurant or crown it the King of England? Haven't they heard of how some American women get angry and cut things off a man? I mean, there were knives at the table right? ;)

Ali Albaghli said...

haha wow. I'm Kuwaiti and I didn't know any of this.

@AG That really made me chuckle thanks. Although I am sorry that you had to experience that. I promise that not all Kuwaiti guys are like that even though a lot are.

@Expat Don't joke about such a thing! Although yes it does happen. I was listening to my radio show one morning and I heard about this girl who was going for her daily jog with her dog. The dog suddenly veers to an angle into someones yard and starts sniffing then biting this rod object. The girl gets the dog to stop doing that and then realizes that this rod looks a lot like a penis. She calls the police and all. Turns out it was someones penis and was cut off recently within the past few days at most. Idk if they ever found out who's it was or what happened but some guy is currently missing a penis (assuming he didn't bleed to death). That's only the most recent case I remember.

Anonymous said...

I'm a fully veiled lady so i like to eat in them , dont have to ofc but if there is one available my hubby and I eat inside. We do notice alot of "stuff" going on around us. But we really dont give a poo coz we are there to stuff our faces ;p not be seen or look good or ... u know

Anonymous said...

That's so true! For us, expats, when you see a Cabinas for a 1st's like "Ohhh a private space for dinner?"
Pfff Bulllllsh&@@! Hahahahahaha That's so crazy... Some of my local friends told me that these "Cabinas" were mainly used for Hanky Panky biz by couples...and it was much cheaper for them than renting a flat.
God Bless you The AG loool You made me laugh so hard...

Anonymous said...

hahahaha, I was laughing so hard from AG's comment I peed in my pants. wow. To think that most of my friends think that Kuwait is so conservative. At least thats what Arabic countries are portrayed here.When I visited there I was so worried about what to wear, should I cover my hair and such. Nope. And I've been told by those who've been there, alot of alcohol is consumed inside those "private" rooms too.