Ramadan started early in the week and honestly, I don’t feel much difference between this holy month and the other Islamic months in Melbourne, as compared to being in Singapore. I’d say there are a number of factors for this –
- I don’t spend my days with many Muslims like I used to. In Singapore, I was surrounded by my Muslim families, friends and colleagues. (Hah, all except one of my colleague were Muslims.) And so, back then, we would partake in the various practices of the month together. And haha, I remember that I’d constantly tease and ask my closest colleague-friend, “Hari nie Mak masak ape?” whenever she left work early to cook for her husband and children, and she’d layan me every weekday, and sometimes, I’d cheekily ask her to cook for me, and haha, she’d bring yummy food for the unit once fasting month is over! Anyway, now, the only Muslim I interact with daily is T, and even so, he’s not home in the day.
- I don’t get to break fast with any Muslims (except when my family visits for 10 days or on Fridays and some weekends). In Singapore, breaking fast time is after work hours, hence I got to gather with family or friends to eat dinner together everyday. Here, breaking fast time is at 5ish pm, and all my Muslim friends are still at work, hah! Even T comes home earliest at 7.30pm. So most of the time, I eat – as I used to the past few months – alone at home. I think this is possibly the strongest reason why I don’t feel much difference.
- I don’t work. Thus, I don’t need as much energy as I needed before. And so, I don’t feel the hunger pangs anymore. Plus, it helps that I don’t eat as much when I moved as I used to in the sunny island. (I snack as much in the night while watching TV though, hurr hurr. How to lose weight, liddat?)
- The fasting hours are shorter, and the weather is cooling. And again, this leads to me not feeling the hunger pangs.
I’m not saying that I dislike going through this month somewhat alone. In fact, I like how pretty chill it is. Sure, I miss the social excitement, but it’s good to have a change. Also, I know I can head to the mosques to build the buzz and not break fast alone, but yeah, at the moment, I am enjoying the quietness…
Speaking of eating, I had dinner with my running friends last Tuesday 🙂 I like how I get to learn more about Melbourne and Australia whenever I meet them – One is local, and another has been here for many years. I think one thing that stood out from our conversations for me was the local’s education system which caters to the children’s abilities, and how young one can get Masters. It’s no wonder why many Singaporean parents would like their children to study here than being in a competitive system back home. And because of this, they’ve made me think even more on whether T and I should leave Singapore for good, hah. Anyway, I had a lovely dinner with them!
And hohoho, my family arrived on Friday afternoon! On Thursday, I skyped with my sister and asked her what time they were leaving for the airport, since their flight was on Friday at 1am. She was perplexed by my question and insisted that they were leaving the next day, i.e. Friday night. I got alarmed and went, “NO! YOU HAVE TO CHECK IN TONIGHT! YOUR FLIGHT IS AT 1AM FRIDAY, NOT SATURDAY! TELL MUM NOW!” She got off Skype, updated my mum via phone (Haha, she was at her school library) while I whatsapped my parents. Apparently, they scrambled to get their luggages ready and said that I booked the wrong date, heh. (I booked about two months ago, tsk! And even sent them the itinerary!) Thankfully, they arrived safely on time. More updates on them next week…