Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day - except in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's morality police are on the scent of illicit red roses as part of a clampdown on would-be St. Valentine's lovers in the kingdom. The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Saudi Arabia's powerful religious vigilantes, have banned shops from selling any red flowers in the run up to February 14.

Meanwhile here in Oman, I've been told that florists taking late orders for Valentine's bouquets are charging around 1.5 rials per red rose.

If you haven't made your Valentine's dinner plans yet, or you've finally managed to get yourself a date but you think all the restaurants are booked, fear not. O Sole Mio, once upon a time the busiest restaurant in Muscat, is still taking reservations. Apparently, it's fallen out of favor. I had dinner there last night and there were signs both inside and outside saying "We are accepting reservations for St. Valentine's Day dinner". Oh how the mightly have fallen.