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Many people look at the extent of shopping that happens in Ramadhan and wonder.. What do these people eat!?

First, I will have to explain the regular food we eat in a regular month:

Here, in a typical Omani family house, the day starts out with a cup of milk and Omani bread. (Omani bread is very thin and you dip it in the milk before you eat it). The day goes on and people might drink coffee at work and housewives might eat some fruits. In the afternoon, the typical lunch is rice with meat and some salads.. (Don’t forget the watermelon)! Then, people don’t eat until its dinner, which consists of either some soup or a western/eastern dish. Whichever it is, it’s just either one or two smaller dishes.

On Ramadhan, we fast, but in reality we eat more! Here is my average day in Ramadhan:

The day starts out with sohoor (breakfast before sunrise). Now, to get the maximum food in your stomach that would digest slowly you would have to eat rice and yogurt. Some people eat rice and meat! But which ever… it is a heavy meal –Of course its a bad idea to sleep right after that, but we need to reserve energy! – Then, we wake up late and go to work. Since we only work for about five to six hours a day –its actually less, remember we are tired and can’t concentrate much– we get home early. At 2pm, I would go into the kitchen to help out with the cooking –actually, I’m usually hungry and want to make sure that what I’m in the mood for will be served! – Today I made some sweets (including crème caramell of course!!).

At the Iftaar table (sunset breakfast), the whole family would gather around the food and stare at the watch. We all want the guy in Oman tv to stop reciting the Quran and call for prayer! The food consists of samboosa, 3 kinds of pastries, about 3 or 4 kinds of sweets, dates, fruits, juice, water, more juice..etc. Once the Imam calls for prayer I start grabbing everything I see in front of me: drinking a bit of juice, then a samboosa, then a pastry, then some sweets.. all at once and before the call for prayer is over! Then, barely able to stand up, I go to pray with a full stomach. After prayer, we gather at the table again. This time, more food starts to come out. We would have the soup of the day along with more samboosa and pastries. We eat more and more, till our bellies hurt. Then, we take some rest. The men go to prayer (its about 8:15pm by now), and us women clean and try not to eat more. Once everyone is back, we are back to serving dinner. It would be about 10:30 to 11pm. The regular lunch that would be served in a regular month would be served as dinner. So we eat more.. take some zantac or tums, and eat more. Stuffing more food in your stomach than what you can handle, but all you think about is how hungry you will be the next day if you don’t!

Is the picture clear now!

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