Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ramadan – Days 3 & 4 – the weekend

The weekend was both eventful and uneventful. Because it was the weekend I could sleep in, which I definitely did to lessen the amount of waking hours I would be fasting. I'm still not used to waking up at 3am to have something to eat, on Friday morning I even forgot that I had a small bottle of laban on my nightstand so while I ate the dates and drank a glass of water I didn't drink the laban.

Friday during the day I worked in the office then went home and had a nap for an hour while I waited for Iftar. Had my Iftar snack at home.

It was then that I realized that pretty much everything I've been eating consisted of dates, nuts, bread, rice and maybe beans, with the exception of that Indian meal the night before. I had not eaten much in the way of vegetables. Now that I think about it, traditional Ramadan meals seem a little light on vegetables. Perhaps that's not too surprising, traditionally I don't think the Arabian Desert was awash with a wide choice of produce so vegetables would not have made up a large part of the diet.

Anyway, figured I had better eat some vegetables, so I went to the mall food court where I knew a place that did a nice pasta with vegetables (you get to pick the vegetables and they cook it there in front of you before adding it to the pasta).

Now I had read in the paper that there was a lecture (in English) that evening by a visiting Islamic scholar named Dr. Zakir Naik, and it was open to people from all religions. It started at 9pm so I decided that would be a good way to spend a Ramadan evening so I went to the lecture. To describe what happened will require another blog post so I will tell you about that later. I got home a little after 1am so rather than go to bed and then wake up at 3 I decided to just have my Sohour meal right away and then go to bed.

I woke up around 10 with a bit of an "oversleep headache" but of course I can't drink any water or anything so I got out of bed, had a shower, and went to the office to continue working. I was feeling a little bit under the weather so it was tougher fasting today than it had been previously as I really wanted to drink something. Maybe I hadn't had enough water the night before and was a bit dehydrated. I will have to remember to drink more water during the night.

I find fasting is toughest in the early afternoon. My stomach really starts acting up around 12:30, basically saying "lunchtime" and by 1:30 it really starts growling, cajoling me to hurry up and get some lunch. By about 3 my stomach has calmed down and I guess resigned itself that it's not getting any food. Of course by then my mind starts wandering a bit and my memory starts to lapse a little and I know that it is time for a nap.

Met my Kuwaiti friend and a work colleague just before Iftar so that we could go to the Souq to have Iftar at a restaurant there. An Egyptian friend of mine met up with us so the four of us broke our fast (well, three of us were fasting anyway) at an Iraqi restaurant. Much like the Indian place they supplied us with complementary dates and juice for the Iftar. Much like the Indian place I ate a lot of food; once you start eating after fasting all day it is hard to stop.

After the meal we went to our favorite Chinese massage place, also at the Souq, for foot massages. I've been getting pretty hooked on going for massages at this place and I'm probably there at a minimum once every two weeks now. I blame my Kuwaiti friend, who introduced me to the place. After that one of my buddies had to go to a small stall at the Souq to follow up on a watch he left for repair, and because of the heat we stopped to have an ice cream in an air-conditioned cafe before heading back.

Did I mention that I've also sworn off alcohol during Ramadan as well? No more nightcaps at home or meeting up with people for a beer (not that I could anyway, any place that sells alcohol is closed during Ramadan). This isn't a big step for me as I was never much of a drinker anyway, the odd G&T in the evening or a few beers at Comedy Night at the Ramada was my general drinking habit.

Well it's just after midnight so it's time to get my Sohour meal prepared on the nightstand and go to bed -- workday tomorrow.

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