I don’t know if I can really categorize either of these things as culture shock because we were fully of aware of them before we arrived, BUT…they are both definitely things that take some getting used to so I guess it counts.

In the States, everyone looks forward to Friday. It signifies so many things: the weekend, freedom, relaxation. Well guess what? Instead of TGIF we say TGIT. Why? Because Friday is our Saturday and Sunday is our Monday. But really Friday is our Sunday because that’s when church is. Are you confused yet? Let me break it down Barney style. The work week starts on Sunday and runs through Thursday and our weekends are on Friday and Saturday. This really doesn’t make a whole lot of difference to me because I stay home with E but it’s been an adjustment for Jesse to get up on Sunday mornings and go to work. It’s also pretty funny to see signs on businesses that say “Open Fridays.”  I’ve heard that it becomes second nature after a while but until then I’m sure Jesse and I will continue to get our days confused.

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The other thing that has been really tough to get used to is that we can’t eat or drink in public during the day because it’s Ramadan. During Ramadan, people of the Muslim faith fast every day from sunrise until sunset. Because of this, it is actually illegal to be seen eating or drinking in public during the day. All of the restaurants are closed until Iftar (the breaking of the fast)- even coffee shops and the food court in the mall. Most businesses also close around 3:00 and don’t open again until 8:00 pm- then they stay open until 1:00 am.  We haven’t really had a chance to eat out at all because it’s tough getting out that late. Emerson and I have been to the mall a few times and I swear I’ve never been so hungry or thirsty when shopping. I guess it’s just because I knew I couldn’t have anything. Obviously it’s not nearly as hard for me as the people who have to fast because I can eat or drink when I get home, but it has been an adjustment when we are out and about. The good news is that there is only one week left of Ramadan and then everything will go back to normal. I can’t wait to go to the mall and have some Starbucks. Smile It will also be nice to know that we can shop at normal hours and not worry about things closing.

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Like I said before, we knew coming in that there would be minor adjustments, and there have been.  But overall, I’m pretty sure we’re going to love this place.  I mean seriously, how could we not? There are grocery stores, traffic laws, and malls- what’s not to love?


Brittney Galloway said...

haha, I totally understand! We straddle the border here, and in O, their weekend is Wednesday/Friday, but our school operates on the UAE weekend, Friday/Saturday! Very confusing.

Also, on the fasting thing, as a nursing mother you are allowed to eat and drink- I wouldn't do it right in front of someone, but if you are ever in a sticky situation, just know that you could! And if you "travel," then you don't have to fast either- and they count 25 kilometers as traveling, haha!

Mom said...

Awesome pictures. Can't wait to come for a visit. Hope you have a fun weekend. Love you all......give E a hug.

Rebekah said...

Haha, breaking it down like Barney styel. Nice. What a different change!

Amy Young said...

We gotta visit! Just the few pics got me thinking of the other pics I've seen from there.

Crazy no eating... or drinking in public? Not even water? Dang.

Hope the shopping is good...and hope that you all are adjusting well to the new place. Cant wait to hear more about it!! xox

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