Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ramadan is coming

Today, July 27th, is the day I realized that there are only two more business days until Ramadan starts. I sat down this afternoon and frantically scribbled down a lengthy to-do list involving all kinds of places whose business hours, efficiency, and friendliness may be impacted (for the worse) by Ramadan. I have tomorrow and Sunday to knock off as many items as I can. And then everything will come screeching to a halt for a month.

Happily (and not by chance), we have planned a ten-day family trip out of the country for right smack in the middle of Ramadan, which means we will get to miss out on some of the crazy days here in the UAE. I mean no disrespect for the holiday - I speak only of the relief I feel at having ten days where I will not have to battle famished, irritable drivers on the already treacherous roads here. (Though I confess that it will also be nice to be able to eat and drink in public.)

Even though I knew on paper that Ramadan starts on August 1st, I should have also been able to feel it coming. Everywhere you go, there's a bit more energy than usual, probably because people are rushing around to get stuff done (like me) or because they're preparing for the month-long holiday. It's exciting, in a way - like Thanksgiving every day for four weeks, if you can imagine. I'm no stranger to fasting, but I've never fasted for days on end like observers do during Ramadan. I'll be wishing them well even as I do not participate, despite the urgings of my 7-year-old Egyptian neighbor.

For now, I'm taking a look at my to-do list and orchestrating tomorrow's errand schedule in my head. How did Ramadan sneak up on me like this? I'll have to do better next year.


Liz Johnson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liz Johnson said...

Gah. Blogger is playing tricks on me!

So... the fasting is from dawn until dusk, yes? And no public eating/drinking? What other rules do you have to observe publicly when you're in the UAE?

I'm jealous of your trip. I hope you have an AMAZING time!

Sarah Familia said...

Hee hee. I just blogged about getting ready for Ramadan too. I hope you are able to prepare for Ramadan before it is everlastingly too late!

Bridget said...

Yes, no eating/drinking/smoking in public, not even in your car, by law. You're also supposed to not play loud music. I don't know if you can be fined/receive jail time for doing that, though.

If Jeremy had a regular 9-5 job, his employer would be required to curtail it by two hours even though he's not Muslim. So I hear.

I have a weird love/hate relationship with Ramadan. I enjoy the festive atmosphere, but living among people who are staying up late in the night eating a ton of food and then dealing with the public while fasting during the day, does not make for the most pleasant interactions sometimes. Bless their hearts.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

It might be just as dangerous / unpleasant running errands the few days BEFORE Ramadan, given that everyone else is distracted and frantically hoping to knock off their lists too.

Enjoy your vacation!


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