Friday, July 12, 2013

Ramadan 2013 – Day 2, the Ramadan Cannon

Fasting is going fine, a few bumps here and there. The most challenging time is around noon as my stomach is used to that time being lunch time so it starts growling, expecting lunch. By about 1:30 or 2:00 it settles down.

I had an external meeting that morning which required me to drive about a half hour into the city. Things like that become a bit of a challenge as you sit in a hot car for a while, driving in 40+ degree heat, but you can’t drink water all day. That evening I wound up with a bit of a headache, which may be due to dehydration from driving around in the morning and going out to the Ramadan Cannon. I took an aspirin and was fine after that.

Yes, I went to visit the Ramadan Cannon. For those of you who don't know the military park an artillery gun in the empty lot between the post office and Commercial Bank tower, which they fire to signify when the sun has set (and you can start your Iftar dinner).

By the time I got there was already a lot of cars.

And of course kids were climbing all over the gun. The soldiers don't mind, at one point one of them was lifting kids onto the barrel.

As time approached more soldiers arrived and moved the crowd away from the cannon.

After that it was just a matter of preparing the cannon and firing a shell to signify that the sun had set and everyone could eat. I had packed a bottle of water and some dates and snacks into my car so once the cannon fired I went back to my car and broke my fast.

Later that evening I went to the Aspire Zone to meet a friend at the gym for a workout in air-conditioned comfort. Because of Ramadan most things stay open much later and I didn't start exercising until 10:15pm.

Afterward I went to a nearby mall to pick up a couple of things. Even though it was close to midnight entire families were still in the mall shopping, even kids. Why not - the shops didn’t close until midnight. Peak hours in Qatar during Ramadan are from around 9:00pm to after midnight since everyone is fasting during the day.

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