Monday was the first day of Ramadan–which is a Muslim month of fasting from sun up to sun down. No food, no drink (not even water), and no smoking.
I was warned about a few things and am aware that this month is going to be different in a couple of ways. For the next month I can look forward to drums being played up and down the street every morning at 4am. This is a kind of wake up call to folks. Get up, eat, drink, have your last cigarette before prayers at 5am.
Resteraunts are closed, people stay up much later to eat into the night, food prices are much higher this month, and I’ve heard that towards the end more shops and things are closed because people are tired and sleeping during the day. Understandably people become a bit more irritable. I can’t drink any water or anything in public. It is considered really rude. Which could get interesting on my long days and sometimes 1.5+hour bus commutes….esspecially in the heat of the day. Or during my tutoring session. I take a bus there, I’m at her house for 2 hours, then it takes me usually an hour to get home. Do I just not drink anything for 4 hours? Sneak my water bottle in with me to the bathroom? It’s still darn tootin’ hot this time of year and I don’t know how they do it without getting really sick. (Though there are exceptions made for pregnant and nursing women, as well as people with medical problems. As well as children are excluded from the fasting. Though for strict Muslims women are expected to make up the time eventually).
The breaking fast meal in the evening, as well as early morning breakfast are apparently pretty impressive spreads. It is a big time for visiting neighbors and family. Our upstairs neighbors have invited us for fatuur (breakfast) one morning with them. I’m looking forward to that. Going to be an interesting couple of weeks!