Friday, 26 June 2015

One more week

So we are nearly done for the year, only one more week of school to go. Although to be honest, it feels like the kids are just sitting off time... The End of Year Reports have already been handed out and the End of Year parties have already taken place.

Because of Ramadan the school day starts half an hour later than usual, and ends an hour and a half earlier than usual. The kids say that more than half of the students in their classes are absent now. The ones who fast, either sleep all day and don't come to school, or have left the country; and many of the expat families have already left for the summer.

Otherwise Ramadan doesn't affect us much in our daily life. One thing you do notice is that traffic is a lot quieter than normal, and the malls are also a lot quieter than normal (during the day) so you get things done a lot faster!
Something a little bit more inconvenient is that most food outlets are closed during the day, so no  leisurely lunches or big excursions, if you don't know where to go. A few places are still open, but you have to sit behind huge curtains or blocked off windows, which isn't an issue in itself, the tricky thing is knowing which places are open and not if you get hungry on the go.
Obviously you can't drink, eat or even chew gum in public, but I think it's important to show respect for local customs, so it's no big deal.

Ramadan means the rhythm of life here gets tilted for the locals, especially at this time of the year when it occurs during the hot months. Most people sleep most of the day - wake up to prepare for iftar (breaking fast) which is at sundown, and then they stay awake all night. Everything gets arranged to suit these times, f.e some of malls are open during Ramadan until 2-3am.
I was asked for Ramadan to cover a few Zumba classes at a gym nearby, but had to decline when I found out they had scheduled them at 10.30pm... I still operate on normal time, and that was way to late for me! :)

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