Thobes

IMG_5761Someone may correct me. I had to look up the term on the internet. What I see in everyday wear is on the bottom right. Plain white no adornment it is meant to convey quiet conservative and humble tradition. The others are more ceremonial perhaps. There are plenty of colorful bolts of cloth. But I mostly see white and a few, very few, dark solid colors for men. Women, it’s all black, head to toe… no ankle allowed.

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Ramadan schedule

All the stores say it

All the stores say it

I went through Ramadan a while back. For a non Muslim New Yorker it’s like plugging into an electrical socket with your fingers. Your life is completely upside down. IMG_5209Sure we had Ramadan in New York. It’s just that it had no impact on my life there. Here it’s a new world order in which work is 1 to 3PM and 10PM to 2AM. Stores and restaurants which already are sporadically open are even more mystifying. People stay up until 5AM and sleep all day to minimize the agony of fasting. My entire circadian rhythm was in disarray.

Evening fast was broken on the sidewalk

Evening fast was broken on the sidewalk

Add to that the fact that being on call meant you would be called at any hour of the day or night and you had the perfect road to insanity. It’s funny because in some ways it looks like Christmas with the colored lights and colored paper.IMG_5190IMG_5189IMG_5187

There’s a rule somewhere…

Good to go. Built by the cheapest builder with the cheapest materials.

Good to go. Built by the cheapest builder with the cheapest materials.

…which says that the construction must be safe. You can make it out of cardboard. Who cares? It’s one use only. You do need a crew to shove you over the cliff. See the safety nets to the side. But is it necessary to keep the cart attached? I keep thinking that this landing’s gotta hurt.

Failure to separate

Failure to separate

There's no crying allowed

There’s no crying allowed

First up – down

Tipping before it flies. We bet it would fall over.

Tipping before it flies. We bet it would fall over.

This was the first to try… and fail. They couldn’t even keep it straight before it flew/fell.

Getting in was a chore

Getting in was a chore

There were sandbags to steady the ship

There were sandbags to steady the ship

Actually the contraption made a straight flight. But there was a lot of fill time for the DJ before the thing was pushed over the edge.

Real hair?

Real hair?

It took a while to steady this. I guess the pilot had insurance.

It took a while to steady this. I guess the pilot had insurance.

The audience was kept well back

The audience was kept well back

It was anti-climatic when they pushed off

It was anti-climatic when they pushed off

We were surprised it flew straight. Pilot lived

We were surprised it flew straight. Pilot lived