I wrote an email to my friends and my brother about Ramadan, and I feel that the content from the email is better than a the usual blogologue.
Life has been rather cyclical lately. I've been getting the feeling that today is like yesterday, and tomorrow will be like today, and likewise in the unit of weeks. I connected this rhythmic conception of my life as a sign that I am now completely used to my new environment. New things do appear, but they mostly have become something as insignificant as a new shop on Grand Avenue. It moves my blog (yeah this one) closer to retirement, but this steady undramatic tempo is what I am experiencing at the moment.
Except for one thing: Ramadan. Thursday was the beginning of Ramadan, and to many of my neighbors and students I said "pole," which roughly means "poor you," or "sorry" as the Americans overuse it. But my neighbor Mr. Ninje said that I should be congratulating him, because it is a significant religious moment. So from then on, I said "congratulations" to my Muslim friends.
And today, I went to Dubai for dinner. Dubai during Ramadan does not open until 6. When I arrived at 6:10, I was the only customer, so I ordered my usual fish and rice. Ten minutes later, the restaurant suddenly woke up from its fasting/slumber. People started to come in non-stop, ordering food and taking them out as well. They ordered food that I've never seen before, such as potato, white bean, and noodle dishes. And to make the atmosphere more festive, it handed out free uji, a sweet Tanzanian breakfast porridge. Customer service, of course, was compromised. When a customer requested an additional spoon to stir his uji, Jabili quickly grabbed one from the kitchen and just stabbed it in the his plate of beans. With Tanzanian food, architecture, and arts being dry and drab, this was a refreshing experience of culture.
Congrats to all those who are fasting.