This year’s Ramadhan is the first time I fast in Abu Dhabi, for two years before I was expecting #babydei while last year I breast fed her exclusively. While going through this fasting month, I find 4 things that are different from fasting in my home-country.
First, This year’s Ramadhan falls in the month of June which means it’s summer here. We fast for 14 hours long, 2 hours longer than Surabaya-Indonesia. The difference is not too significant, but combined with 45 degrees Celcius of outside temperature, it’s quite exhausting for me.
Second, if we want our suhoor, takjil, and iftaar in the tradition Indonesian way, we have to prepare for all those dishes all by myself (que dramatic backsound). The tastier we want them, the more effort we have to take, because there is no “Pasar Kaget” here.
What is “Pasar Kaget”?
“Pasar Kaget” is an in situ food bazaar where people sell various kind of meals. From grilled chicked to intestine satay (trust me, it’s heavenly delicious), from chilled coconut water to fruit coktail in grated ice, along with urap-urap, buntil, pentol, jajan pasar, and many other traditional dishes that I can’t easily name, let alone describe, in English, you can find them there. This food bazaars are usually held along the side of roads and so those roads, that are usually quiet, suddenly become crowded with people who sell and buy those food merchandies as they are “ngabuburit”, a term that represents the general activities that people do to kill time as they wait for iftar.
Craving for this bazaar here, you can imagine how I feel when I see my friends and family upload photos about meals in their facebook timeline.
Third, there is a shift in activity hours here. During Ramadhan, many malls open their doors until 3 AM, as many of their foodcourts and restaurants serve both iftaar and suhoor. Accordingly, other shops and departments stores are open until early morning too to catch potential customers. My hubby and I usually go for groceries at 10 PM after Isha and Tarawih.
How about working hours the next day?
During Ramadhan we have less office time! My Hubby who usually works from 06:30 AM to 02:30 PM now has to work only from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. So, Alhamdulillah, he has more time to help me caring for our baby 😆.
Fourth, towards the end of Ramadhan, people in Indonesia are usually busy with sharing knick knacks snacks of Eid Al-Fitr. Ketupat, opor, sambel goreng kentang-ati, specialty cookies, and clothes are changing hands. For us who faraway from our hometown, things become a bit less and quieter. Our solution for this togetherness is to have halal-bihalal sessions with our compatriots. Last year, for instance, we had it in our friend’s home with potluck system for the dishes, where we tried our best in making those traditional meals and cookies and then brought them to the venue to be shared.
and here is the Indonesian traditional snacks!
All in all, even when we are far from our root society, we can still have the taste of togetherness during Eid Al-Fitr. Last but not least, I wish you all Ramadhan Kareem for this Ramadhan 1438H, may Allah (SWT) accept our good deeds and devotions