Ramadan Reflections

October 2, 2006 – Monday

Ramadan Reflections
Current mood:

I’ve not posted recently and that is primarily due to the adjustments of Ramadan.  For me it typically takes the first few days to adjust and adapt to fasting from sunrise to sunset.  I do not find it that difficult to go without eating but it is hard for me to go without drinking water.  I usually drink several bottles of water throughout the day so Ramadan means learning how to control my thirst.I’ve been sticking close to the apartment during Ramadan.  Yes; I find it easier to fast as well when I do not subject myself to being out where I can smell tantalizing aromas.  If I remain in and keep busy then I do not think about being hungry or thirsty.We have had a few Ramadan dinners (iftars) out with other Saudi friends.  Its been a pleasure to go to their homes and observe as well in participate in how they celebrate iftar, the breaking of the fast.  Thus far, these dinners have been very similar to the same way Abdullah and I observe iftar.  The primary distinction is that the friends we have visited have larger families so as a result there is a wider selection of dishes.One observation I have noticed and I don’t know if this is particular to me and my American ways or not, but our Saudi friends (Abdullah included) break their fast with Saudi coffee.  Many in fact do not even drink many of the small cupfuls of coffee either.  Whereas while I also enjoy the coffee I need to have a full glass of water beside me as well.  Throughout the evening our friends will continue to drink coffee and then shift to tea which is lightly sweetened and served with a touch of mint.  Again, this is also served in the small cups that provide about 3 teaspoons per serving.I enjoy the Saudi beverages but  I need to have my water beside me as well.  Another new beverage I have been introduced to is Vinto.  Vinto has the color and appearance of cranberry juice but its flavor is quite unique.  I would describe it as a smooth flavor and something like sweetened water with a hint of fruit flavoring.Also for the first time yesterday at an iftar dinner out I experienced breaking the fast with “baby” dates.  These are young dates, newly plucked from the date trees.  Instead of the wrinkled appearance we are accustomed to with dates, these are smooth and look similar to plump green grapes.  To my palette they do not seem to have the same burst of bouyant flavor as traditional dates.  At the same time though they are a new experience and it’s a treat for one to have the opportunity to sample baby dates.Previous Ramadan’s I would usually fix the main meal for Abdullah and I during the early morning.  I liked to prepare everything in the crock pot so I could prepare it and then forget about it until it was time to serve.  Because we are in the apartment and do not have a crockpot available, this year I have to prepare everything shortly before iftar.  I am finding this to be a bit difficult for me at least because by then it is usually 1.5 hours before iftar and my body is not only at its weakest point but also starting to feel very hungry.  I ashamed to say it but I find myself very impatient when trying to fix a good meal when I’m hungry and tired.  Yet at the same time I give myself a pep talk that this is something I can certainly do and should take pride in.While I am fixing the meal, Abdullah likes to sit and read from the Quran out loud.  He reads in Arabic so at this juncture I only understand about 30 to 35 percent but it is nice to hear his lilting voice as he reads.Abdullah assures me we will be departing very soon for Saudi and to have no doubt we will be celebrating Eid (the end of Ramadan) with his mother and family in Mecca.  In anticipation I have already started making preparations for our departure. 

One Response

  1. […] it may not be easy to begin the monthly fast. Muslims are human after all and their bodies will initially crave what […]

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