Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ramadan – What’s It Really Like?

So we’re now in the last week of Ramadan, and I have to say, it hasn’t felt massively different. By law, working hours are reduced to 6 hours a day – needless to say I haven’t felt much benefit of this. I have left the office at around 5.30 on a couple of occasions, which felt like the biggest treat ever. It has also meant that if I rush, I can get down to the beach before the sun starts to set at 6.15.

As for the ban on eating and drinking in public, well the benefit of having my own office is that if I’m discrete, I can have the odd coffee and sip of water without offending anyone. Not that my fasting colleagues seem to mind. I always check with them and they don’t mind us eating and drinking.

The one main difference is when you’re in the car, on long journeys. My weekly trips to Abu Dhabi are tiring enough, without snacks, water, and coffee and a biscuit at the other end, they are positively hellish. Still, the ethos behind Ramadan is amazing, and I have enjoyed being exposed more to the culture of the country which I’m beginning to call home.

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