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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Ramadan Ramblings

So I just want to get out and say something about Ramadan.. “I’m done, I’ve had enough, the show’s over, someone call the cleaners.. I need an 11 month vacation from Ramadan before I can tackle it again”. Before you lambaste me with hate mail, let me get on the record and say, I love Ramadan, I enjoy the spirituality of this holy month, but there are other things that do get under my skin..

I miss breakfast – I really do, I wish I could have some coffee, have an omelet, hell, I’ll even settle for toast on butter with jam.. juice in the morning.. chocolate milk.. chbood sandwiches with crystal hot sauce.. I miss my breakfast. For the past 4 weeks or so, I’ve deprived my body of the essential nutrients and caffeinated products that make my day a little more stimulated.. 30 days of not eating something will make you forget how good it tastes.. I miss you chocolate milk, you’re my only real friend..

I’m tired of walking into a the supermarket before it’s time to break my fast needing only to pick up some cheese, pasta and heavy cream – and then walk out with a 5 pound bag of peanut M&Ms, three different types of pasta, chips, chocolate bars, a number of bottles of the overpriced starbucks coffee milk in a two sip glass bottle, some more chips, cookies, crackers, 3 pounds of ground beef, and a block of cheese.. Never walk into a supermarket when you’re hungry, cause you’ll end up buying more than you need..

Not that this is any different when it’s not Ramadan, but frantic driving is also a pain in the arse.. Right before futoor, everyone’s so hungry and they’re all heading to their parents/aunt/grandparents/insert appropriate family member’s name here to break their fast. Just fathom this recipe: hungry population, on arab time (which I don’t have to tell you is eternally 27 minutes late), with a tendency to drive recklessly and speed incessantly = madness on the roads.. you can’t help it yourself, it’s a kill or be killed type of environment…

Food food and more food.. I can’t believe how much Ramadan comfort food you get to eat during this month - enough to put you off basmati for a while.. Meat, Chicken, Rice, curry, Thareed, Mathroobah, samboosas and fried tidbits, qatayif, legaymat, etc... you break your fast with some dates and maybe drink some laban (light and nutritious), then you move onto the rice and meat, and then there’s the thareed (basically curry poured onto bread making it really soggy, meaty bread pudding), then there’s the tray of your favorite fried friends, there’s always a couple of more random dishes that someone was craving and had to be made.. After all of that stuffing, you then sit down, guzzle two cups of tea, some coffee, then there’s fried pastries and cream filled pastries, chopped nuts, fruits, and the list goes on - enough sugar to give an elephant a rush. Once you’re done with this huge meal (that you have for 30 days) then you start your evening and plan out what you need to do..

The tempers.. We all know how Ramadan is about patience, but sometimes it’s very difficult to control your hunger pangs.. these same hunger pangs transform themselves into headaches, which then magically become spewed mistimed snide remarks that have a way of building up into a full blown argument with name calling and lines drawn – all over why there is no vimto in the house.. Delightful..

The nighttime scheduling.. everything goes on at night, nothing happens during the day.. you go to a Ramadan Ghabgah (party) and no one starts showing up before 10-10:30… no one eats till about 11:30 (if you’ve got a nice host) and most of the time, it’s the same comfort food that was mentioned two paragraphs ago.. I miss daylight.. Birdman wouldn’t last one minute fasting Ramadan without the power of the Sun..

I can’t believe how much food I managed to bring into this post....

Happy Eid people.. you won’t have to endure this whining for another 11 lunar months..