With two hours still to go before Maghrib (the sundown prayer, which signals the daily breaking of the fast), I have realized that waaay too much of my entertainment centers around food. I watch Fatafeat, a TV channel dedicated to Arabic cooking shows (with an occasional sprinkling of Jamie Oliver, Martha Stewart, and The Barefoot Contessa). Fully half of the blogs/websites I regularly frequent focus on recipes. Also, I am a boredom eater. I am less of a boredom eater in this heat, but still I have the tendency to wander towards the kitchen anytime I there is nothing else to do. Fortunately my metabolism is of the sort that benefits more from many snacks or small meals throughout the day than the traditional three big meals.
But now, choosing to follow the Islamic fasting practices means no food, no drinks, and no cigarettes (okay, that’s not a problem for me) from first light (currently 4:15 a.m.) to sundown (7:30 p.m.). It is not my first year fasting, but this year I am dreading it more than in the past. Given that we are moving soon, we will have no opportunities for iftar (the fast-breaking meal) with our neighbors here, nor is it likely that we will meet and befriend people in our new city quickly enough to enjoy meals with them. Ramadan really is no fun if the community aspect is missing. I feel no religious compulsion to take part in this practice, but when we previously lived in a city where there was greater social openness, there was a joy in participating in the festivities and meeting with neighbors that made the thirsty, hungry days seem meaningful.
So I need something other than food with which to occupy myself. Or I could become nocturnal, which is how those who have the financial means will spend this next month.