Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Crescent Celebrations

Ramadan has begun.  It's interesting experiencing it here, in a Muslim country.  For the most part, life goes on, but there are some things that are unique about this month...

The biggest way it affects us is in the changed restaurant hours.  With the majority of the country fasting during the day hours, restaurants open late, if at all.  We were hoping the American chains would be open somewhat more normal hours, and thought we had success when we called Applebees and confirmed that they opened at 6:30pm.  However, when we got there we were informed that they are open, but you cannot order food until 7:30pm.  Disappointing.  Lacking hope, we wandered next door to Fuddruckers, just to see if we would have any luck there, and they welcomed our "Are you serving food?" selves right in!  We sat, we ordered, we played in the play area, and then we  w a i t e d ... We soon realized that nobody in the restaurant was getting food, and then noticed a kettle of broth-like soup being served in the middle of the restaurant, assumedly for aiding the transition from fasting to eating.  Then just before 7:30, the kitchen grills finally sizzled to life.  We'd been had. 

The night Ramadan began and the following day, the traffic was horrendous.  But since, it's really been quite light; the roads feel empty.  We've heard that places open late but then are open until 2:00am, so maybe everyone is just going out later...which is certainly fine with us!  We'll take easy roads any day! 

Everyone has their Ramadan lights up outside their homes and stores, and it kind of makes me feel like Christmas.  Minus the moons. 

And speaking of moons, the one tonight was spectacular: a perfect crescent!  I can see why they've chosen it as their religious symbol...It hangs so delicately yet stalwartly in the night sky, a sliver of light that emits hope for future fullness & wholeness, the symbol of a new beginning, a small shadow that emits a great light.  It's commanding of attention and respect, and snags your captivation on it's crescent hooks.  It's a beautiful world our God has created.  

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