Friday, October 07, 2005

You know you've been in the Middle East too long when...

It's the holy month of Ramadan which means no eating/drinking in public. When we first moved here I remember my family complaining loudly and vociferously about the restrictions. Things have changed. Yesterday afternoon my mom and I were driving through town when we saw a Filipino man drinking juice while he was crossing the street. My mom turned to me and clicked her tongue muttering something about how rude the guy was. This place has definitely gotten to us.

I found out something very interesting today. We expatriates survive on one thing and one thing alone. Rumors. Lots of them. We hear rumors from stories about potential coups to how prisoners converting to Islam are freed. Today I found out that one rumor I had long ago dismissed as a tall tale was in fact true. There have been unsubstantiated stories about Muslims gaining massive amounts of weight during Ramadan on account of being starved all day and feasting all night. I was talking to a Muslim friend of mine whose dad works at a local hospital. He told me how during the first three days Ramadan hundreds of patients come into the ER who have to get their stomachs pumped because they overeat. Go figure.

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