It happens to all of us: Whenever you go back to the place where you grew up, the roads look narrower, the buildings look smaller, the ceilings lower – and it’s almost difficult to reconcile these images with your childhood memories. Everything is all at once familiar as it is unfamiliar.
If there is one conversation that has been effectively silenced this year before Eid, it is the usual complaints about why the declaration of the holidays comes so late. This year, the dates for the break were announced eight days prior to Eid. Even last year, I wrote about the fact that four days before Eid (Eid al Adha), we still didn’t know how long the holidays would be.
The heat at the moment is way below the 47-50°C predicted last week by the authorities, and temperature-wise we are actually lower than last week. It feels unbearable nevertheless because of the humidity. At the moment you could be wearing the lightest of cottons, but step out and you are transformed into someone’s soggy, post-workout gym towel.
It is as if a giant switch goes off (or on) and an entire city of drivers collectively loses its marbles. After umpteen Ramadans here, in cool weather, hot weather, nice or really uncomfortable weather – I still don’t think you can blame the driving on the weather or the fasting. Thousands of those crazy drivers on the road who are not fasting are driving equally erratically and the virus hits right from the first day of Ramadan. This year I think I lost it too, on that day.
I have never watched any wedding on TV, so I wasn’t paying much attention to the Royal Wedding, beyond getting caught up in all the speculation on the Internet (and Instagram) over what Meghan Markle would wear. And yet on Saturday afternoon, much to the amusement of my family, I sat and watched the entire thing, from the guests arriving to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first carriage ride.