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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ramadan: Day 29 or 30, depending...

It's been a while.. a little under the weather (thanks for asking) and then been busy preparing for an upcoming expedition into an undiscovered land. We're on day 30 of Ramadan and this is the final stretch.. This year (year three on br if you were wondering) in my holy month posting, I thought I'd wait till the end to digest everything and reflect. A discussion over some sheeshas brought about these points..

The importance of being a lemon.. juice, particularly lemon, is a staple beverage during this holy month. Different houses prepare their lemon juice according to their specific taste. Drinking lemon juice in Ramadan is like playing Russian Roulette, you’re never sure what it’s going to taste like. There's nothing like taking that first sip of juice and finding out the person who made it was fasting and didn't test the level of sweetness.. Starving yourself all day to fill your mouth with a nice sip of bitter lemon, mmm.. Sometimes the juice is either too diluted or too spiked with the zesty citrus burst of sour shock.. There's lemon with mint, even a lemon lime combination is not unheard of. Some people prefer to go packaged, although it's not how I roll, I'm not one to complain too much..

Eating was SO out this Ramadan.. A common occurrence at the meal table, no one's eating anything anymore.. I'm not doing any rice, I'm trying this hydate first eat later routine, I don't have an appetite after starving myself all day, I don't like to eat heavy to start, it’s a low carb holy diet, the list just goes on and on. As opposed to the regularly scheduled gluttonous massacres of the lamb carcass, people are opting for a soup salad combo… what has happened to us? All of a sudden, it's not cool to pig out for iftar.. Instead of packing on the pounds with fried tidbits, Muslims are slimming down with meditative fastation.

Everyone was about animation this Ramadan… this month is the equivalent of our sweeps season on tv.. Advertisers scramble for a slot, while production studios push out their soap operas, religious, historical, and comedy shows. There’s usually some Kuwaiti serial / quiz show / sitcom about pop culture and the happenings of today’s world that grabs everyone’s attention. But this year, it was all about Animation, people wanted to get on that faster than 2 for 1 Tuesdays at the Striporama. If you weren't, then you should've been watching the Bahraini animated comedy sitcom (Arab Road).. a neighborhood with characters from all over the Arab world, each from a different country filling out an obvious stereotype. A lot of subtle tongue in cheek humor poking fun at ourselves along with our trials and tribulations.

21st century Ramadan tents.. Maybe I haven’t been out too much, but they're so hi-tech now.. apart from the really nice new matching cushions and little foot rests the tent also boasts an air conditioner if you please. The colored lamps have been lit and are all hanging giving off that ramadany feel to it. Wireless internet is complimentary and the macchiatos are especially good.. the only thing they need to work on is justifying the cover charge. You will have to sort out a tent so book in advance cause the host is swaggering about looking only to seat the beautiful people. Minimum table order is a magnum of karkadai, you know how it is..

Freaky Eids.. A common occurrence in the Arab world because after 29 days of Ramadan, the moon watching panel (not sure who they are, but I’m willing to bet some old men with limited eyesight) come out on a roof to see if the moon’s making a cameo. I’m not knocking anything, but there have been cases of freaky eids where you think you’ve got one extra day of Ramadan and then all of a sudden someone spots the moon and you’re scrambling to get your last minute shopping in. do they use telescopes or is just them and their eyesight? Does anyone know? The other thing about moon watching panels around the Arab world, is that they sometimes have conflicting announcements. It is a little weird sometimes getting news about different countries announcing eid while others don’t,“Egypt still has Ramadan tomorrow, Kuwait have announced Eid, Saudi not yet, and we’re still waiting on Bhutan to get back to us..”

Well that’s what’s been on our minds this Ramadan.. What was on yours?

To everyone reading this, Happy Eid.. I’m off to spend a couple of days in a strange land, trying not to believe the hallucinations from the malaria pills..


Hasan in Japan said...

Hi there,

Just wanted to wish you a happy Eid and safe travels.

Have fun and take it easy on the Malaria Pills!

Anonymous said...

Must not forget the UAE's contribution 'Freej'!

Hmm, I wonder what the inside of the Flamengo Bar in Dar El Salam looks like...make sure you don't forget the souveniers, cigars and party tricks

looking forward to your safe return, bikeshed