We have come across an interesting experience concerning culture shocks. One of the long serving general managers of the Mena House Hotel in Cairo, Rajiv Kaul, had personally arranged for the last fittings of the fancy Montgomery Suite. A set of photographs showing Montgomery and Winston Churchill, all perfectly framed, were hung at carefully selected places. Soon the first visitor, a wealthy gentleman from the Middle East, together with his wife, occupied the suite.
The next morning the executive housekeeper arrived at the GM’s office. ‘Mr Kaul,’ she gasped, ‘the guest has taken down all the photographs and put them on the floor, the pictures now face the walls.’ Kaul started to worry. He asked the guest whether the suite was suitable, and how he liked the new photographs and, well, why he had taken them down? The young gentleman from the Middle East stared at Rajiv Kaul with the surprised expression of a faithful Muslim: ‘Oh,’ he said and continued, much to the relief of the general manager, ‘I had to take them down. How can I allow another man to look at my wife when she is not wearing her veil?’