The Muslim holy month of Ramadhan begins on Oct 5th. The faithful are required to fast (no food, drink, smoking, sex etc) during daylight hours and ensure all prayers are conducted in accordance with the teachings.
For non-Muslims it can be "hell" month, with wake up calls anytime between 2.30 to 4.30am reminding people to arise for prayers. With bellowing, clanging of cans and the lighting of fire crackers. "The Call to Prayer" blasts from the local mosque's loud speakers. Sleep becomes a very rare thing and something to be treasured.
Now in times of stress like this, you would think its a good plan to duck down the local establishment for a drink and sleeping pill. Well no, chances are your local "mine host" has been closed down by the religious police, government, provincial authories, local thugs (IDF again) or a combination of all the previous. No rest for the wicked I guess my mom was right.
Still wine and song can still be found, most international hotel bars and a number of the larger nightclubs will remain open (religious fever tends be selective based on money exchanged and who actually owns the nightclub). It is always amusing to watch the local trappers getting paid off in alcohol to allow extended drinking hours, still who said "lack of shame was a hindrance in religious piety"
Meanwhile, this is the month ex pats or "bule" will get more visits from Muslims than any other. The vistors are usually of two types 1...Muslim visitors will start popping round the house day and night "just to say hi" knowing full well that as good host, you will offer them some refreshment which they refuse until the blinds are drawn then its the "food fight" scene in Animal House.
2. The more pious Muslim who will call to offer greetings and perhaps save your soul.
Now I should qaulify this post not all Muslims are like this. However, in my experience the louder they proclaim their faith the more "full of shit" they are.
Of course our little darlings, the Islamic Defenders Front will race around town unhindered smashing up food halls, bars, entertainment venues as they see fit (as long as they don't disturb the local "Mafia" but then again courage is not a virtue for which the IDF is famous for).
One on the last years highlights was when the IDF descended upon the Kemang district (a well-known up-market, ex-pat eating and drinking suburb) hell (?) bent on smashing a few places for some extra godly brownie points.
For once the local populace rightly identified the IDF as "two bit" thugs destroying their livelihood. Within in minutes those brave defenders of the faith were running for their lives as their bikes and cars were torched and destroyed. It was one of those incidents where the hope that the ordinary decent people may wrest back control of their lives from the thugs, bigots, liars and thieves still lives.
Anyway to all the believers "have a blessed Ramadhan" and I hope your sins are purged and you can purge the corwardly dogs that are hiding in dark corners of your faith.
To all you Christians..Don't take the high ground just yet..You have more than few dark corners as well to explain..
To all the rest as the man says "to each his faith" in another words piss off and live your own life.
Well I have to go catch a plane..Somewhere where GOD has not appointed a gadzillion helpers to assist me live my life for the next month.