18 Days

Until the end of Ramadan. Today has been a long day of fasting as I actually woke up at a decent hour. Well, as long as a work day at any rate, but no afternoon nap. Forty minutes to go and I can eat. Whoo!

I went and reread one the entries in my old blog, before it was ever a blog. I reviewed my arrival in Bishkek. Sitting on the plane listening to the woman who'd been kicked out of Kazakhstan for being a missionary. Odd how the world turns. My opinion now versus then is pretty much the same - they had it coming. On the up side, I think she and her husband knew that as well. They seemed reasonably prepared to be kicked out and made a new plan that involved going to another Central Asian country for whatever unmemorable work her husband did while they lived life as "Believers".

Any wonder we have the problems we do?

Anyway, wasn't my intention to write about the annoyance of fundoos, whether they be Christian, Muslim or Hindu. I'm just trying exercise my fingers and get my writing voice back. It has been years since I kept a regular blog, and even if no one reads them I'm reminded how useful they are for me. Five years down the road I'm able to enjoy the Russian flight captain and marvel that I ever got my passport back in Bishkek.

Right now, as it is Ramadan and nearly time for Iftar, it seems a good time to be grateful for a few things. One of these is my noisily meowing cat, sitting by the window and repeatedly telling me it's time for him to get fed the good stuff and not the bowl of dry Meow Mix that's been sitting out since yesterday, no the good stuff. The pets are a blessing. I really hope I can get him rehomed before I go, but I don't need to worry about that today.

Other things to be grateful for are friends, and my biwi jaan, and that I'm going to be married, again, in a few weeks, with wedding that will be better organized than I expected. Anyway, I am grateful for finding a love to spend my life with and the good friends who have encouraged me on that path, whether with advice or by action. A shout out to Cat for hosting the wedding and acting as planner - thank you!

I'm also thankful for the friends I've made here in Saudi Arabia. This past Wednesday evening I had Iftar break fast (dinner that is) with Al Jauhara, her family and Ken (who is a colleague, not a friend, as he likes to remind people). It is nice to be in a family setting with children and home cooked food. After dinner was the usual conversation and coffee, followed by a quick shopping trip. These past few outings Al Jauhara has taken me to the best places to get Saudi mementos to take back to people. And I do appreciate being shown the spots, even if I haven't bought anything to take back.

There's another thunderstorm tonight, we've had them regularly the past few days. Wednesday afternoon was so bad that I couldn't connect to the Net for several hours. Annoying as we got off work an hour early and I wanted to play my computer game. As it was, I ended up sleeping all afternoon.

The works schedule is off set for Ramadan, we go in at 9:30 and leave at 2:30. Shortening our usual seven hour day to five. I still boggle at the salary to office hours breakdown. I'm forced to have a 35 hour week. How nice is that?

Anyway, the typing has kept my hands busy until sundown. Time to eat!

Best wishes to all.

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