The tale of Tilly’s and people with too much time on their hands

Posted on April 20, 2010


Sometimes when I’m bored I’ll pick up a copy of the Gulf Daily News and flick straight through to the letters page as I know it always raises a smile. There aren’t many outlets for public frustration, I’ve yet to hear a phone-in show in the style US talk radio  for example. Can you imagine Krazy Kevin komparing a heated debate about naturalisation on Radio Bahrain? Neither can I. There’s always blogging but who reads those and anyway, if you say something too controversial you’ll be blocked.

Hey, it’s much easier to write into the GDN and if you’re lucky you might get published. Sometimes there are ‘letters wars’ that go on for weeks. There was an Indian expat driving ability versus Bahraini saga that went on and on. A common moan is about lack of parking in certain areas and then there’s the general expats versus Bahraini, Christian versus Muslim, Strict Muslim versus not-so-strict Muslim all safely and anonymously played out on the pages of the Gulf Daily News. However, the latest spat has got me worried.

I never knew there were so many child-haters living on this island or maybe there aren’t that many but the ones that do live here like to write into the letters page.

It all started when a mother wrote in complaining that she and her child had been turned away from Tilly’s, a coffee shop cum health food cafe attached to Jawad Dome in Barbar. The reason, she says, is because they have a ‘no child’ policy which Tilly argues is born (no pun intended) from customer research. Nobody has met Tilly in person yet, she is represented by a couple of nervous waitresses who cringe with worry when they see a family heading towards them. Why? Because they’ll have to repeat the same old mantra yet again.

A couple of days later a lady from Janabiya writes in support of the mother, stating that she has faced similar discrimination and that she felt it was wrong and could Tilly’s try and compromise a bit. Fair enough. Then the venom let forth as the GDN’s inbox began to fill with stuff like this:

Remember how annoying it was to end up sitting next to a smoker in a restaurant? Children can have that affect from the other side of the room.

Writes ‘Victor’  in his long-winded ode to child/adult segregation titled ‘Screaming Brats’

I can’t be bothered to link every subsequent letter but they go on and on. What I can say is I’m shocked at the tone of many of these letters, I’ll be on the look out for something like this on the roads of Bahrain in the next few days:

Victor on his way to Tilly’s

UPDATE 21/4/10: If you thought is could get much worse, take a look at this.