"Can I sit with you, or is it fine if I share a seat next to you? If you don’t mind, can we adjust a table next to you for those costumers standing outside the café for their turn, Ma’am can you sit in the open lounge? Aha!! Okay what about smoking lounge?"

These are some of the statements that one may come across when visiting any renowned/discovered food spots in Lahore. Lahore has always been a hub of food and festivity, hence people are willing to invest in food no matter what comes their way.

A recent example of still more increasing food culture in Lahore can be seen when 3000 people appeared on Lahore Eat 2018, enjoying food from almost 80 food stalls. During this festival, most food enthusiasts were also willing to sit on the floor, were even leaning to the stalls. The scene was interesting and at the same time fills one with curiosity. Lahoris love to eat and eating is loved by them, Tis true... Here are the five reasons why Lahoris are willing to sit in congested spaces:

Foodie Phenomena

Foodie phenomena is defined as the psychology of hastags and food combined to confuse the people between two aspects. People are willing to post their pictures about what they eat and how they eat, before and after eating. It seems as if the owners of the cafes have well understood the science of check-ins and hastags. Therefore, start publicizing their cafes as a new trend rather than a place to sit and eat. Since, we have 7th largest youth in the world, so we can well imagine the number of young ones tempted by this 'Hashtag Trend'. For the sake of taking a good selfie, we are ready to compromise our comfort. #Superweird!!!

Association with Old Lahore

The trend of adjusting in smaller spaces is not a hot potato but it has been practiced in Lahore for a great deal of time. We can see traditional architectures of claustrophobic food shops in Old Food Street with their dingy stairs and orthodox mannerism of serving. These shops also set trend for our cultural aspiration which is a fascination for tourists as well.

Old Lahore reminds us of our roots and hence the old roads and building are remembrance of our ancient architecture. The old food stalls selling Das Kulchy (A traditional dish) might not have ample space to make food items but they sure have customers who are willing to eat on a road.

Westernized Culture

Another instance could be acceptance of westernized culture. Whether, we agree to it or not, but most of the population in Lahore has not just accepted but embarrassed the foreign culture too. Even if its small food courts in Lahore, or may it be famous spots like MM Alam Gulberg, congested cafes are the new type of architecture you will find. These congested cafes remind us of the coffee shops in New York, where people sit on small chairs or desks for their morning coffee with a small snack. An excellent example can be seen in Eatly Lahore and The Wok, one of the finest in their quality of food, but highly congested with huge table and small chairs. We also see closely placed tables at Gloria Jeans and Second Cup precisely, which again evokes a very modern outlook.

Expensive Coziness

Apart from food, Lahoris are also fond of coziness and this perhaps could be one of the possibilities of enjoying food at congested restaurant. Such cafes are targeted or set at one of the most posh and frequented areas of Lahore and charge as if the costumers have to pay from the nose but still not offered ample space to breath.

The question is that even after paying so much, why are people willing to sit in congested spaces? Is this cozy culture of sitting close tempting for everyone? Indeed, instances of warmth and brotherhood are clearly visible in our nation.

The Food Fundamentalist

Last but not the least, we have a category, whom we can declare as the food fundamentalist. These people will not compromise on their food. Hence, would go to places that they admire even though the operator has already informed regarding no space.

The food fundamentalism is a problem generated in inheritance or at times it’s just a random treat by a friend at a restaurant, and you instantly feel the connection with the place for centuries. Restaurants like Spice Bazaar and Yum are relevant examples, where people are even willing to sit in the parking space to wait for their turns. Even more interesting is Arcadian Café which have fundamentalist consumers, who would not go to bed without having a meal per week from this amazing restaurant. In time of crucial fundamentalist pursuits, Lahoris for sure can compromise on their space.

Regardless, whatever our passions would be, we must understand that as being creditable customers, we also have the right to have a respectable sitting at a place that is earning from us for years. It is high time that the owners of the cafes and Punjab Food Authority (PFA) should consider decreasing space as a critical issue and start making strict pre-booking or make better and bigger facilities for Lahoris.