Via Boing Boing
Source: MSNBC

(Reading such stories online just brings out the flavour!)

I didn’t have the pleasure of experiencing the flirting via Bluetooth phenomena because Bluetooth got popular after we left the Saudi Arabia, but I did get to laugh at the even more hilarious phenomena of “Targeem”(think phone numbers displayed on cars).

Haha, too bad my phone doesn’t have Bluetooth(and yes, I’m being totally sarcastic, I mean, hooking up via cellphone is even worse than hooking up via the internet!)


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – The restaurant, like all Riyadh eateries, has taken precautions to prevent its male and female diners from seeing or contacting each other.

Yet despite the barriers, the men and women flirt and exchange phone numbers, photos and kisses. They elude the mores imposed by the kingdom’s puritanical Wahhabi version of Islam – formulated in the 18th century — by using a 21st century device in their mobile phones: the wireless Bluetooth technology that permits users to connect without going through the phone company.

“It’s more fun coming to a restaurant these days,” said Mona, 21, as her two friends giggled. Their Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones rested on the table next to the remnants of a dinner of club sandwiches and fries.

Users activate the Bluetooth function in their phone and then press the search button to see who else has the feature on within a 30-foot range. They get a list of ID names of anyone in the area — names, mostly in Arabic, often chosen to allure: poster boy, sensitive girl, lion heart, kidnapper of hearts, little princess, prisoner of tears. Some are more suggestive, like “nice to touch” and “Saudi gay club.” Users then click on a name to communicate with that person.

Abdul-Aziz al-Aseeri, a 25-year-old computer science teacher, said he tells his students that Bluetooth technology can be misused. “I warn them of the dangers of having pictures of their mothers and sisters ending up in the phones of their classmates,” he said.

But for many Saudi youths, who have almost nowhere to meet members of the opposite sex, the technology is a godsend. It is replacing a favorite method of flirting: throwing phone numbers at women through car windows or in shopping malls(targeem!).

With Bluetooth, men and women can safely flirt at malls, restaurants and even traffic lights.

“Last night I sent an angel to watch over you, but he came back soon,” said one message. “I asked him why, and he answered, ‘Am not allowed to watch over other angels.”‘

“I use Bluetooth to meet girls,” said the 24-year-old businessman. “The religious police cannot catch me.” His long, dark hair combed back, Muhammad said when he sees a woman walking past, he presses the search button in the hope her phone’s Bluetooth is on.

With women forced to cover up in the kingdom, how can he tell if she is someone he would like to start a relationship with?

“I check her Bluetooth ID,” he said. “If it’s cute, then I’m pretty sure she will be pretty.”

Read all of the article here.

Note: I, by no means, mean to offend anyone.