I just got in to the UAE from Spain at 1.30 this morning.
I know I’m back in Fujairah at Ramadan time and in the heat of summer when:
* Every power pole and light post from Dubai to Fujairah is lit up with color to celebrate the festivity of the Ramadan season.
* The Lulu supermarket has changed its hours this month so it opens at 9.00am and closes at 1.00am!
* The supermarket plays extra loudly the call to prayer over its public address system.
* It is Date Festival time in the hypermarket and the fruit section is laden with fresh dates alongside a chart illustrating 80 different date varieties in the UAE.
* There’s no beer or wine in the supermarkets c.f. Barcelona where I have been staying the last eight weeks. Incidentally there’s more fruit and vegetable variety in the supermarkets here in Fujairah and as for other products, there’s everything we want including Australian Vegemite and Twinings English breakfast loose tea that seems from the packaging to have come via Russia.
* There’s no pork or pork products on the shelves. Another supermarket in town usually holds pork products in a walled-off section but they may not have much if any at the moment, since pork imports were banned into the UAE at the height of the swine flu frenzy.
* The supermarket trolleys are stacked high with groceries as Emiratis prepare for lavish and extensive hospitality each night. No wonder this month of fasting adds kilos to most worshippers.
* The supermarket car park sounds like a bee hive with cars left with their air conditioners going while their owners go inside and shop. This practice has been banned in Dubai (to combat global warming) but it seems to continue merrily in Fujairah.
* Cafes and restaurants are closed between sunrise and sunset.
* Our local shisha cafe is dressed up like an Arabian majlis (tent) and is still going strong when we pass it at 2.45 in the morning. The nicotine in the shisha must give enough of a kick to keep smokers sane during the daylight fasting (no-smoking) hours
* The TV is not working but its pointless trying to call a technician during Ramadan.
* I break out in sweat walking in the 44C degree heat from the house to the car.
* My glasses fog up on leaving the air-conditioned home and entering the high-humidity atmosphere outside.
* Some termites look as if they have been feasting on one of our doors since we have been away.
It is good to be back in Fujairah, especially at this time of high festivity.
On Related Sites
Ramadan Up in the Air, Experiencing the Emirates, 30 August 2009.
For UAE’s America’s Cup Venue Swing Past Camel Track Near Airport, America’s Cup in the UAE, 28 August 2009.
Dr Geoff Pound
Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.
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Image: “The fruit section is laden with fresh dates.”