My wife and I don’t really care much about glass and crystal ornaments or matching cutlery. The few crystal vases that we own were wedding gifts from uptight aunties who felt it crucial for every household to have some Bohemia crystal vase to reflect taste; or a short noticed visitor, or one lacking imagination, who stumbled into a crystal shop on last minute to buy a useless artifact in order not to walk in empty handed. We have what we need, and when we don’t have enough, we improvise.
In one of the times that we were entertaining a large group of guests my wife found herself lacking a bowl to serve the taboule in. She scurried into the living room in the whee hours before the guests start to arrive and found a big Bohemia crystal bowl grand enough for an emperor to use as a drinking basin. To get one thing off her mind she lined the bowl’s sides with cabbage and put the taboule in it to be served. Needless to say, amongst the pastries, finger foods, lasagna, and homemade pizza, the Bohemia bowl seemed terribly out of place.
In the mid 70s or so there was a sudden surge of Levantine Arabs into the oil rich Gulf states who got very rich very fast. Although some of them primarily had previous glory days, the wars that tore through the region from the 40s to the 90s, had taken a financial burden on the inhabitants of the land. And so, when they flocked into the gulf and started making money, it was common, or at least easy to flaunt their wealth and aspired social status in either indirect or ridiculously explicit ways.
The common response to those who attempt to display their newly found or recently restored sense of belongingness to the velvet layer of the society Read the rest of this entry