I am slowly realizing that Ramadan mixed with jet lag does not make for a pleasant experience. Warning, this post is not all rainbows and happiness…
Ramadan is an Islamic holiday in which Muslims fast during daylight hours. The stores close for the majority of the day but open again in the evening until 2am. Most business is held in the evening and women should dress more conservative than usual. As a visitor to the UAE I must respect Ramadan and its traditions. For me this means I cannot eat, drink or chew gum in public. I am able to do those things in private but not where practicing Muslims could see me.
The temperatures hit around 110F for the majority of the day with the heat index making it feel like 123F. This is beginning to pose a problem with my hydration. I was fairly naive about Ramadan and figured I would be just fine. This notion is proving to be false. I am constantly ducking into bathroom stalls, crouching in corners and hiding behind things to take a sip of the water in my purse.
I am not able to eat regularly either. The hotel has a breakfast buffet for those who are not participating in Ramadan. I eat my breakfast, stuff my purse full of various food items and then do not eat again until 7pm when the restaurants are open again. Very few things are open during the day to eat at and the hotel food is very expensive. I usually eat 4 to 5 small meals a day so me only eating two meals a day is making my weight fluctuate but at least during Ramadan I have to dress conservative in my gypsy clothing.
I am also struggling to get over my jet lag and am constantly sleeping. The strange hours are not helping with jet lag either. Last night, we had to go to the police station to get our finger prints done. They scheduled us for 11pm and we did not arrive back to the hotel until 2:30am. That was an enjoyable experience. Happy Ramadan!
Now for some rainbows and happiness!!!!
Overall, my time here has been enjoyable. I can see myself being happy living here. I am embracing the new experiences. There is such a diverse mix of people in the city and I am a big fan of diversity. I also have met some excellent fellow teachers and we are having a good time together. The hospitality here has been impeccable. My sister and her family will be visiting me in September. My niece called to tell me she was coming to see me and that she was going to bring her own bed to Abu Dhabi because she did NOT want to sleep in my bed. So I think they will have a comfortable drive from Saudi Arabia to Abu Dhabi with Peyton’s bed in the car.
|Some of my Texas friends!|
|At Carrefour...the Wal-Mart of Abu Dhabi|
RIP my dear friend the cable joint...