Friday, July 12, 2013

Ramadan 2013 – Day 3, Everyone Staying Up Late

Because it was the weekend I slept in. Most people try to sleep as much as they can during the day since it makes it easier to fast.

In truth it's more difficult fasting on the weekends than during a weekday. Work is a helpful distraction and keeps you occupied during the day. Once the weekend rolls around it becomes more difficult to distract yourself. I dislike staying at home (food is always within reach) but there's not a lot to do outside (too hot to walk around, shops and stores are closed). Can't exercise either because you can't drink any water. So to get out of the apartment I went to the office to do some work.

Later my Turkish friend Murat called me, he and his wife were leaving the mosque after the Dhuhr (noon) prayer. They were in the same situation: too early to have a nap, didn't want to stay at home and be tempted by food, and it's too hot to walk around. So we agreed to meet at the Hilton Hotel for a while and chat. I went to the Hilton and we sat in the lobby by the coffee shop (which was closed) and just chatted for a while to pass the time. That was pretty much all I did on Friday afternoon. A little after 2pm we left and I went back home, napped for over 2 hours, then prepared for iftar.

In my last blog post I briefly mentioned how Qatar was at its most active in the evening. I'm not sure to what extent people who haven't lived in this region really understand how things shift into the evening so tonight I went to the mall and took some pictures:

During Ramadan the mall is open until 1am

Want to do some banking at 10:45pm? Sure!

It's shortly after 11pm -- time for the family to get something to eat at the food court.

Lots of people shopping for groceries –- at 11:30pm

By the way during Ramadan the Government will fix the prices of many goods to prevent gouging. Shops have to display the mandated prices.

11:45pm and still lots of people in the mall

In fact there’s still a lot of traffic outside of the mall!

During Ramadan in Qatar it is really not unusual to have entire families roaming around the mall at midnight. At least it's the summer so there's no school, otherwise I'm not sure how school-age children would manage staying up so late then going to school the next day.

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