I don't suffer from a persecution complex. Now read on...
Then let’s start an anti-Cigale club.
My first bad experience was about 3 years ago. On a weekday night, a few of us went to the lounge at La Cigale. Appropriately dressed, except that we couldn’t quite hide our nationality.
As Westerners and nationals from a particular Arab country (not all) were allowed in, we were not. Because we didn’t have a reservation to enter the almost empty lounge. A few other similar incidents involving Asians, proved case in point.
It’s not just that. I happen to go to this place on work quite often — I don’t choose to, but when contacts invite me over, I can’t quite turn it down. The reception at the restaurant/coffee shop is always colder than their frozen desserts. So much so, one contact apologised to me when she realised the staff were hesitant to serve me properly.
Get this. Two people of similar backgrounds visit the hotel to meet a senior manager. One is caucasian, the other is from the far east. Guess who was totally ignored?
A friend from the only Arab nation that is allowed patronage there made a booking. When she landed there with a couple of African and Asian friends, the slippery eels out there tried to hide them in one corner of the lounge.
Don’t believe me? Experiment… if you are white, take a non-white with you to La Cigale. Check out racism in action.
PS: I can easily use my journo card and ensure 24/7 access to the place. But who wants that! I am angry…