Monday, August 1, 2011

My First 30-Days of Ramadan

01 August 2011
8:15 am
Today marks my first Ramadan experience. Though, I was already here last year for the Ramadan season, but, I was not working then, so I wouldn’t really know. So to prepare myself to the big no-eat, no-drink event, I ate breakfast. Usually I just drink milk. I ate a sandwich and apple juice. Hopefully this would keep me satisfied until 2 pm. Good thing, work timings are shortened. Otherwise, I’ll end up unconscious before the working time ends. Around 9:50 am, I slipped a candy because I’m getting thirsty. Four (4) more hours before work time is over. Hopefully we don’t have to extend.
13:36 pm
So far, I’m doing good and surviving the no-eat, no-drink day. I have only consumed 2 candies. No water yet, and amazingly I have peed twice already. A few minutes more and I’m off. I’m counting the minutes already. I’m hungry.
14:20 pm
Hungry…..still at the office. :(

02 August 2011

8:02 am
The 10-minute walk to the office got me thirsty. Good thing, not much people were at the office and was able to get some water. I'm hiding it in between file folders. I do apologize, I just can't help it.

8:28 am
Took a small sip. Does this make me bad?

11:26 am
My stomach is already grumbling. I think I'm overusing my brain again. Lol. I want to go and buy some groceries at Choitram when I get off. I wanted to buy all the food available in the grocery. I am so hungry. There is something about fasting from water and any solid for a number of hours, it makes you crave for everything you could afford to buy. My brain is in such a frantic mode in searching what good restaurants are available in the city. Perhaps, I should convince my husband and try out the Iftar dinners in the city. hhmmmm...

5:30 pm

Went to the nearest grocery, Fathima Supermarket, to buy additional ingredients I need for the dinner I am cooking. Good thing I asked my husband to accompany me. Everybody inside the supermarket are men! What happen to the women in the area? Were they too tired to do some groceries? Anyway, it was kind of freaky. I was the only woman inside the store. So this is Ramadan here in the middle east. Most women are in their homes doing the cooking. Additional information from my very keen husband, meal time during Ramadan, men eat together then the women afterwards. They don't eat the same time. This is for one month. Wow.

03 August 2011

7:50 am
Pass by the grocery to buy candy to keep me sustained during the entire working time. I also had a bottled water on the sideline in case I need a sip or two.

10:00 am
Pretty busy the entire time.

3:00 pm
Still in the freaking office. All of us non-muslim working are asked to work without eating. I mean, SERIOUSLY???

4:05 PM

04 August 2011
12:42 am

I think my eyes are going to fall off any moment now. I can feel my extremities refusing to move. My brain is simply telling me to get some rest and sleep. As expected, we went home very late already. Only 30 minutes more and its already the following day. But good employees as we are, we still came in today right on the dot! Despite the lack of sleep and no water and food (slightly) I am going to crawl going home. Seriously.

Was not able to tell more about last night, we got out of the office around 11:30 pm. I was surprised that Khalidiya is still buzzing with acitivity. However, still, only a few women are roaming around the area. Even though we went home late, it was not so scary to walk home.

12:46 pm
Keeping my eyes open and keeping a sane mind is really a feat right now.

05 August 2011
12:35 pm
Friday at last! So I woke up at around 7:45. hohum (i know!) But then, I don't have to get up immediately, we just spent like half an hour talking about plans for the day and our budget for the eid. What would be our final plan. That is something we should ponder every single day since Ramadan started.
I cooked some brunch, cleaned the flat, and now I am just typing away. We wanted to visit IKEA the thing is its too hot right now. The heat feels like its melting your brains out. No use roaming the the downtown area too. Most restaurants will be closed as well as stores. Groceries are the only establishments opened at this time. The malls, open at around 3 pm. So the shopping thing will have to wait till later. Not much to tell, despite the load of work at the office, I still like Ramadan so far. Earlier time of going home. I can't remember going home right on the dot. If we do, the look on our boss' face would have us backing down and opening our computers back on. That's how working in Abu Dhabi is, they don't literally force you to work overtime, but the look on their faces simply tells it all. :(

6:30 pm
After church, we decided to visit Abu Dhabi Mall for window shopping. Since its Ramadan, the foodcourt would probably open a bit later since eating time is 7:00 pm. Aroung 7:15 we went to the foodcourt and was amazed. The place was packed. Almost all fast food chains have long queues. It was a nightmare. Even tables were not available. We have to wait, so we decided to take the food away and eat it at home instead. This is eating out during Ramadan, it was total chaos.

06 August 2011
10:16 am

I am surviving. I still have a bag of m&ms inside my drawer. My water bottle is half empty. But so far, I am doing ok.

07 August 2011
7:55 am
While walking to the office, I can't help but notice that today is way hotter than any other summer mornings. When I arrived at the office, which was basically and slow 10 minute walk, I was perspiring profusely. Like I was going to be put into trial. It was really hot, so I made a dash to the pantry to replenish my self. We still have enough chocolate supplies in my drawer to keep me going until 2 pm.

10:00 pm
Despite the occasional servings of chocolate bites, I still feel hungry. I had some toasts and two spoonful of tuna pasta and half a glass of milk. I'm still hungry. All I could think about is going home and cook whatever I can find from the fridge.

2:50 pm
Home at last! Made chili-garlic pasta. smack! smack!

12 August 2011
11:30 pm.
It has been a hectic few days. Was not able to do some recording of the days. Anyway, few update since the last time I wrote something. A new mall opened, Mashrif Mall. We saw this advertisement flyer for the opening and some stuff on sale. It opening on the 10th. We went there the following day hoping to buy that 10 pc Tefal set. To my dismay, the stock were already gone. I guess, plenty of people saw that flyer too. But i can't imagine how fast the stock was sold out. RAwrrr...Anyway, I will continue to prowl the city for more great buys during Ramadan. By the way, Carrefour is also doing some sale thing. We bought this 6 pc tumbler Luminarc for only 10 AED. How cool is that? We are starting to buy some stuff to send to Phil. for Christmas. *sigh* I'll be spending it here this year. Really really sad.

13 August 2011
8:50 pm

Another long Saturday. Started like any other working day. The thing is, I woke up lazy. Meaning I don't feel like doing anything. Even drinking milk was too tiring. Seriously. Good thing most of the bosses arrived late. The sad part is, there's still plenty of work to do. Went home at 3:30 pm. Sleepy and hungry, I trudged home and hoping to get a wink. But if you are living abroad and on your own, you have to do chores. That dreadful chores. So I have to iron clothes. This is the life of the OFW.

19 August 2011
It has been 5 days since the last time I placed something. I am supposed to make another psot for the next 15 days. The other Monday, 15 August we went to our office Iftar dinner, but I won't tell it here. It was fun, but it was quick to end. We didn't even enjoyed the entire dinner. sheesh. And last thursday, 18 August, we attended a baptismal. The baptismal started at 4:30 pm and ended like around 5 pm. It is customary that after baptismal ceremonies, guests are invited to partake a small get together sponsored by the parents of the child. However, since it is Ramadan, every restaurants will only serve food starting at 7:00 pm. Big dilemma. What we did, we just went 'malling' a.k.a. window shopping for a few hours to kill the time till its dinnertime. It ended well, good eats with good friends. What a way to start the weekend.

26 August 2011
Another week has passed and Ramadan is almost over. So far, there are plenty of things I have realized about this time. For one, the early going home, I mean, even though our memo says we are only working from 8 am to 2 pm. we always go home around 3 or 4 pm we can still go home earlier than dinner time. If we could go out around 2:30 it is already a treat. And when I get home, I could have a short nap and rest. Do other chores and prepare dinner earlier. Plus the no eat most of the time helped me lose weight! I'm definitely loving it! The end of Ramadan is closing in, so we are planning big time on what to do on the two days holiday. I'll write more next time.

30 August 2011
1:00 am
Eid Mubarak! Ramadan has come to its completion. At exactly 8:30 pm last night, 29 August 2011, (a few hours from the time I made this entry) cellphones have been ringing and its from our bosses, not that they want us to go to work at that hour, but to let us know that Ramadan is over and the holiday is officially started. Perfect timing because we also planned to have a party on that night. Now that it was made official, everybody can drink all they want till they drop because they could nurse their hangover for two whole days. I left the party earlier, 12 midnight, like Cinderella. While walking home, the streets of Daruthalmiya, Khalidiya was buzzing with life. The party ambiance is everywhere, and everybody seems to be in high spirits. Despite the humidity, everybody was out in the streets, sitting outside smoking and eating. We passed by a gent's saloon and plenty of people inside. One even was having a mud pack on. Truly celebrating the festive day of Eid ul-Fitr.

Though this is my second Ramadan here in Abu Dhabi, this is the first time that I have experienced it as part of the community. Last year, I was hiding inside the room the whole time. No time and venue to observe what really was going on during this Holy Month. Next year, I have set a new goal, that is if I am still here in Abu Dhabi. I'm planning to try all the iftar offers in the city for 30 days. That would be fun, but the thing is, how will I lose those weights I'd probably gain in that one month. Hmmm. Dilemma. But! That's for next year, who know, I might think of other things to do for that eventful 30 days.

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