A lot of my fares today were parents with their children going to upmarket birthday parties. Not too long ago birthday parties consisted of a few friends invited for tea which would be sandwiches (cut into triangles with the crusts cut off if you were posh) and maybe jelly and ice cream to follow.
Now they are picked up by chauffeur driven limousines and whisked to fancy Italian restaurants and then go onto bowling, swimming, laser games and other exciting activities.
There seems to be a big money in this huge new industry and anyone that can come up with something new and different must be on to a sure fire thing.
Only thing that makes me think slightly negatively is that a lot of the parents seem to be in competition with each other trying to impress each other rather than the children. For instance, it used to be the custom to take a small present for the child whose birthday it was, but now they expect to be given a present or goody bag in return for actually going to the party.
The fancier the goody bag then the more popular the kid becomes nearer to the birthday party! Again, there is fierce competition to outdo the other parents in the race for bigger and better offerings.