Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ramadan a ding dong

This is the first Ramadan in quite some time for us as a family, and you soon forget the difficulties that the faithful face when trying to fast in hot conditions. For those of you that don’t know, Ramadan is a time of fasting, from sunrise to sunset no food or liquid is to pass your lips. Ok, so you get to eat and dink as much as you like as soon as the sun sets each evening, easy peasy I hear you say, but then add 35 to 40 degree heat and then you’ve got a problem.
Before I carry on, I should add that as non muslims we are not required to fast, but we mustn’t eat (even chewing gum) or drink or smoke (Not that we do) in public.
So how do the muslims cope with this? The working day starts late at around 9am and finishes at 1pm, and in between time as little energy is spent as possible. At around 5:30pm the sun goes down and everyone rushes home to break-fast, and that’s when the day begins! Shops open at 7:30pm and stay open to 11 or 12 pm, and whole families become night dwellers.
Foe those of us that do not participate, the best time to be out is when everyone else isn’t. The roads are quiet, on the run to work and school at 7am, a joy to be out on the road. At the working day finishes at 4pm, I have more time to myself than I know what to do with.
On the downside, a lot of the restaurants close and use this time for staff holidays, so eating out is not so easy, but there are far more invites to go to peoples houses for dinner so all in all a very social time. The school contacts have been invaluable for making new friends in what is a very small community and the diversity of this community has led to very interesting social events. Tonight we are off to the British Embassy’s quiz night!

There is already a noticeable drop in temperature, with a slight rise in humidity, and this is most apparent at the pool. Jacob has spent an inordinate amount of time in the water and his swimming is greatly improved. Come December we will have to switch to a pool with heating as it is too cold without. Our alternative is to spend a lot more time at the beach. It seems so long ago that we were last there, I am really looking forward to getting back to our weekends at the beach and maybe this year we will camp out overnight. Can’t wait!
Next week spells the end to Ramadan for another 11 months (It moves closer by one month every year due to the muslim calendar) and so begins Eide when we all get a holiday! Won’t know how much of a holiday until a day or so before but I’m hoping for five days (Inc the weekend). Oh happy days


Anonymous said...

For various boring reasons, I haven't looked up your blog since you left for the UK. Great to catch up with your news tonight! Just started to get down to freezing & below here, so your sunny photos have really cheered me up! Happy belated birthday too!

Anonymous said...

(Sorry for the random-ness of this post)…

Four months ago I posted on many blogs, letting everyone know that we were trying to start a podcast (Rabbit Hole Daily) by people who had emigrated to other countries…

I thought it would be interesting to share all of our “misadventures” and news… I had hoped to get a contributor to/from every continent (i.e., a Brazilian in Japan, a Japanese person in France, a French person in Australia, etc.).

People leave their respective home-countries for all kinds of reasons; some people marry a “foreigner” and leave their country, some people take a job or do academic research out of their country, some are forced to leave for political reasons, some do it for the adventure. The podcast was designed to welcome all of these points of view. We’ve been working with mixed success to get all types of voices…

Podcasts are a great way to get complex stories out that would never make it onto tv or radio, and we’d like to use the medium to create something that’s informative, eclectic, and interesting, all voices and topics welcome (provided they’re well-written)!

At any rate, I’m writing to renew my call for contributors and say that we’re still around. We were accepted by itunes, we’ve been publishing consistently, and although we’ve had some technical concerns (people write articles, read them into a mic, then get them to me via internet or skype; getting it all edited evenly has been a challenge), we’ve just received some equipment donations by listeners that will make it possible to produce with ever-better audio quality.

Please consider listening to the podcast, and more importantly, contributing articles. (Articles are 2-3 pages, submitted 4-6 times per year, contributors are featured on our “contributor profiles” page, rules for contributing can be found on the “contribute here” portion.) If you know someone who has emigrated from their country of origin and is a good writer, please pass the word!




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