Do you remember in college when you started getting ready to go out at 9 or 10 pm?
Do you remember how when you got older and had kids, you thought that "those college kids" going out at 10pm at night were crazy?
That "crazy" part is what I was feeling like last Tuesday. It was the 9th day of Ramazan, and we were getting used to the quiet, dry, hot days.
Even the chickens on our neighbors roof knew they were supposed to sleep during the day.
(Of course, their cage IS closed, so that could be one reason why they weren't out)
They came over to visit and brought us their plants to water while they were gone.
They came around 7:30pm, and when we were saying goodbye to them at our gate at 9:45p, the females in our family received an invitation from the neighbors to go to the bazaar.
People wait until the 9th or 10th day of Ramazan to start the "fun" evening activities (besides staying at home), and I guess it was time.
So at 10:30pm we headed out with Jasmine,* her daughter-in-law, three of her daughters, Jennifer,* and her two girls. (I left Keira at home although there were exhausted babies and children all over the bazaar).
It just so happens that I wasn't leaving Doug alone. Our language helper "Surprise" had brought over his neighbor and a few other guys to install two new air conditioner units Doug bought for upstairs.
We had moved most of the furniture and all of the carpets out of two rooms so the dust wouldn't overwhelm them, and they asked if they could "come to work" at 10pm, after they had broken fast and visited with family.
Sure. Why not? Keira can sleep in our room on the floor.
So while they worked, we went to play.
The bazaar was crazy and crowded! People everywhere!
We couldn't stay together. Someone would stop for cotton candy, and then we would get separated. Someone else would stop and look at clothes, and we would get separated. On and on it would go, but somehow, we would always find each other again.
I got up on the sidewalk to take a picture for you, but it is still hard for you to see all the action going on (and I felt a little awkward).
This is an example of some of the thin hallways that branch off the main bazaar street where you can find all sorts of things.
I was told this particular hallway was similar to a "Dollar General." The shirts were all $4, there was a plastic store where all containers were $.80, and material for maxi dresses (think "muu muus") were $2 total.
And, by the way, Jasmine* has been dying for me to get a maxi dress because she thinks I'm too hot in jeans, so I bought one maxi (muu muu) and bought one piece of material to have another made.
I haven't decided whether I'll model it for you or not. Kylie bought one, and she looks cute, but mine's at the tailors getting altered, and I'm pretty sure I'm not going to look too cute in mine.
This is a gold shop. Gold jewelry is sold in small little dukans like this one all over the city.
We took a water break on the stair steps in front.
Apparently, there is a time at the end of Ramazan when parents give their children gifts, and on the last three days, everyone wears a new outfit (sometimes the same one).
I'm figuring all of this out as I go, so some of this could be incorrect, but this is what I sort of understand.
So, the shopping frenzy is equivalent to Christmas.
At midnight, we came back home, and the workers were still there. Caleb was watching a movie, and Doug was visiting with "Surprise."
We had been invited to go to Jasmine's* and visit for a while. I went to talk to Doug about whether we should go or not, and then I asked "Surprise" if he would be okay if we cancelled language the next day.
He said it would be "very okay." (He stays up all day because he's taking an accounting class and studying. Then he remains awake until the 3am breakfast/prayer time before he sleeps. Then he and his wife get up around 6:30a to take their son to day care and she goes to work. I'm sure they are both exhausted!)
So, the neighbor girls and we all got sno cones, and we went across the street to visit.
Did I tell you it was midnight?
They ended up looking through our ipods/iphones at pictures and asking questions about America. We did pretty good with our language, but thankfully, pictures can speak for themselves a lot of times.
At 1:30am, I was ready to leave.
I asked when they would eat breakfast, and she said 2:30am. I was hoping to use breakfast as a way to see myself out, but I couldn't wait another hour.
I was honest, and said I was tired, and we left.
It's hard to join their lifestyle of switching days and nights when we still are "living" during the day. In hindsight, maybe we should have switched our days and nights and moved our language class to the middle of the night.
There's always next year.