Sunday, August 23, 2009

My First Ramadan

*Ed Note. Camels have little to do with Ramadan. This photo simply demands to be seen.

On Saturday, Ramadan began in Qatar. Things run differently during The Holy Month. The first, and most obvious change is that Muslims fast during the day. No food is available until after sundown. It’s illegal to eat or drink in public (even water) while the sun is up, with potential jail time for offenders.

Once the sun goes down, you are free to eat and drink as much as you wish. The city comes alive at this point. There are decorative lights on skyscrapers and each of the hotels sets up a Ramadan tent where people go to break their fast and party late into the night. With the lights and festivities it feels a little like Christmas, without snow and caroling.

There is no consumption of alcohol in public at any hour of the day, but the liquor store ups the monthly allowance during Ramadan for non-fasting residents.

Work days end early. Our office closes at 2:30 p.m. - about five hours earlier than usual. My Muslim colleagues told me to enjoy Ramadan as a “vacation” but I’m trying to fast while in the office, out of respect for those around me. It’s tough (it’s been one day, I suck) but weirdly satisfying.

I didn’t know what to expect for my first Ramadan, but the city feels peaceful. Detox month. Hopefully Hack the Bone gets back on track during the next few weeks, with my extra free time and all. Thing is, I’ve felt strapped for ideas of late, especially since Gord doesn’t blog, like, ever (he was a great foil for creative inspiration), and the Jays are too depressing to write about, let alone follow. The Leafs look kind of exciting but I won't care about that until October.

So, loyal reader, how about throwing a few post topics my way? With your silence, I’ll be forced to write a book review of my latest conquest, Shantaram. It’s 1,000 pages long; you don’t want me to even broach the subject. It will be painful for all parties involved.

I would also welcome a guest blog or two, though you’re all lazy bums so my expectations for contributions are extremely low.
Seriously, look at my last seven posts- I write about twitter (geeeeek), my birthday (twice), Pearl Jam (nothing wrong with that), air travel (boring) and jet lag (or something). Someone save me from this drivel!

And for the record, this is not something I’m going to write about, but thanks for trying all the same DKM:
You should blog about how awesome bing photos are and how their creative approach to a background is grasping the attention of ex-googlers worldwide.

Where the hell is CONRAD when you need him?


  1. Good luck fasting. I'm not sure I could last more than one day. Much respect to those who are able to do it.

    Unfortunately, I have no ideas for you to write about. I am full of fail.

  2. Anyone who remains positive about the Jays this year is not full of fail, eye. He is full of WIN and don't you forget it.

    The hardest part about fasting is caffeine headaches. I didn't know they existed until yesterday, as I've been pumping myself with a steady stream of coffee for the past eight years or so.

    But I deserve no respect - once I'm safe at home I break fast and get kind of drunk by like, seven. Everyone else is still fasting at that point. Full of fail.


Ramble on...