Monday, August 1, 2011

Biriyani and Beggars

Kelvin and I hunted high and low today for biryani. There are only a couple of restaurants in town that make really good biryani. We knew that Ramandan was coming up fast and most of these awesome restaurants close for the entire month of Ramandan.

We raced down the street to my favourite place, Tarboush, only to find that they closed today for the next month. Then Kelvin said that he knew of another place in Old Town Mombasa. Kelvin hadn't been there in years so we searched through the tiny streets trying to find the  place. Once we finally found it, we saw that it had closed too, so had the great restaurant beside it. We continued to walk up the street realizing that all the shops have closer. We came to understand that Ramadan started today. We missed it by one day. We thought of another restaurant, that wasn't run by Muslims, that had awesome biryani. After traipsing around in the hot sun for half an hour, we got to the restaurant only to be informed that they only make biryani on weekends. Tired and hot, we just settled for a random restaurant that had so-so biryani.

There was also an influx of beggars today. In Ramadan, Muslims tend to give more than usual. I remember a few years ago, a Muslim friend even gave to me after I told her about all the things in our house that needed repair. So beggars know they will earn more money this month so they are our in full force.

If you don't know what Ramadan is or have ever looked deeper into it, I would strongly urge you to do so. Muslims (approximately 1/3 of the world's population) are fasting for an entire month. Maybe in Castlegar you won't see the effects of it but in many other parts of the world, it's a big deal. The ironic thing is that more food is consumed during the month of Ramadan than other months. You see, Muslims only have to fast from sunrise to sunset. So first thing in the morning, they eat a large meal, and then at sunset, they eat another huge meal. Today, I was being pushed and shoved around in the supermarket by all the Muslim women preparing for the opening night of Ramadan tonight.

The league that the boys are in has been postponed till after Ramadan. Half of the players are Muslims and don't eat all day so they can't be expected to play a good game of soccer on a hungry stomach. I am also guessing that most of our boys won't show up to practice for this month.

Anyways, I guess I will just have to wait till I return to Mombasa to get my delicious plate of biryani.

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