Old meets New, the Flusche Family at Bahrain Fort

Old meets New, the Flusche Family at Bahrain Fort
Life overseas can be an overwhelming and exciting adventure.
Come be swept away with us in the Kingdom of Bahrain!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Unintentional Fasting...

... I don't recommend it, ever! ;)

At this point you may be scratching your head asking how one "unintentionally" fasts. THAT, my friend is a good question.

My day started out like any other, at around 7:00AM I had a bowl of Oatmeal Square cereal and a big glass of water. Then on with the day. However, today was not like "any other day" AND it is Ramadan AND I live in the Middle East... see where I'm going with this?

So off I go to "Meet the Teacher Day" at Tanner's school for our 9:00AM appointment. Luckily Gavin spent the day at the CDC on base giving Tanner the opportunity to see the classroom and let him familiarize himself with his new Kindergarten digs. It's there that I learned the school planned on having an open house at noon-thirty (today). This was not in my plans for the day because I had already arranged a play date for Tanner with his friend Kai and an afternoon movie. I figured we would have a leisurely lunch on base somewhere in the middle of the two activities. The "Lunch Gods" however had plans of their own (insert evil Lunch God laugh here).

You may be thinking who cares, it's just lunch. No biggie right, Nina does it all the time. I however am not Nina, and this is NOT Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Tanner (thank God) had lunch at Kai's house and I just figured I would catch something after or at the Open House... nope. Then I thought well maybe one of the 50 eateries or coffee shops at the mall would be open (PQ had been staying open and closing the curtains as not to offend the fasting public but I guess someone put the kibosh on that)... nope. Perhaps I could scrounge up a hidden snack in my car, surely Gavin had dropped a handful of stale Cheerios or Goldfish on the backseat, right? Again... nope.

So the next best thing I figured would be to stop at the grocery store "conveniently located" at the mall and pick up something I could eat discreetly at the movie theaters and all would be fine. I grabbed a bag of almonds and thought I could carefully eat the nuts without being caught (remember in Bahrain eating in public during daylight is a finable offense and could land you in jail during Ramadan). I figured the theater would be dark and the bag wouldn't draw any noisy attention. Well I guess I was past the point of hungry because all the almonds did was tie my stomach in knots.

That is how I found myself BACK at Carrefour (grocery store) following the movie to buy a bag of sandwich rolls and eating one in my car under the steering wheel with Tanner almost in tears afraid I was going to be arrested for eating in public. Oh, the drama of it all. Can you just "see" me hiding in the parking garage, lunch roll in hand, sweating in the 110 degree car and looking over my shoulder like a criminal? Ridiculous.

It's now 9:15PM and I am still sick to my stomach... I honestly have no idea how the Middle Eastern Muslim public can fast in this extreme heat, with no water and still function. I was so nauseous and had such an incredible headache that I was afraid to drive my car home.

I kept thinking - "Geeze Jann, this was only one day and YOU ate at 7:00AM long after Ramadan fasting begins (3:00AM) AND you had a handful of almonds AND you ate your forbidden sandwich roll an hour before Iftar (6:30 PM, the breaking of the fast) what's wrong with you, people all around you have been doing this for a month already - GET A GRIP!" Sorry, no grip here! I'm all out of grips at this location. Nada, zilch, none.

I don't think I would have the stamina to fast day in and day out for 40 days 3:00AM-6:30 PM. That being said, I guess something positive came out of my experience today though, I can now identify and FEEL the physical pain of the sacrifice that my Muslim friends are going through at this time of fasting. It is very uncomfortable and it does give you (like it or not) the "opportunity" to feel the very real pain of the hunger felt by so many everyday in this world. I would not however say it is wise to drive.

Ramadan Kareem.

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