Sunday, July 22, 2012
22 July: A visit from an old friend
21 July Few people stir during the day during Ramadan but one benefit to this is that the children's museum was refreshingly empty, making it easy for me to both chat with the employees/other moms AND keep track of the girls. For the most part, it was an enjoyable trip. The girls sang in the taxi on the way there and we arrived in a great mood. We saw our friend Noora and other employees we've come to know. They had special exhibits related to the art and science of Ramadan; see FaceBook for a picture of the girls with different important characters from Islamic history that were wandering through the museum. Things went a bit sour when Yumi shoved Emi to the ground. Yumi had been doing so well all morning and I assumed she was our her funk of yesterday. Alas, she did not meekly submit to her punishment of time out in the corner of the museum, although on reflection, it could have been a lot worse. No flailing or hysterical screaming. Definitely a lot of "no!" and complaining/stiffening/overall bad mood-ness. That is when I knew we needed to leave, and small wonder: it was nearly 1pm. I opted not to bring the stroller today--maybe a bad choice because it is a long walk to the main road--but we caught a taxi pretty quickly. And I managed to grab a little snack for the girls from the nearly empty--but still operating--kiosk in the museum. I do not think I noticed the degree to which food is unavailable for sale when I experienced Ramadan in Egypt 8 years ago. That is probably because I nearly always ate lunch with my "host" family and did not think about dinner until after sundown--which comes earlier in Egypt. By 5:30pm restaurants would be serving food and I rarely ate before 8pm anyway. I am acutely aware of the lack of actual prepared food for sale now that I have to provide it for three small people. My parents joke that they "nearly starved" when in Alexandria, Egypt some years ago during Ramadan but it can be a problem. They told us this evening, for example, at Salsabiil that the police would shut down their establishment if they served food in the dining room; take-out, apparently, is allowed. I wonder which came first: people electing to fast or shops closing during Ramadan? I can see a two-way causal relationship. The ride back from the museum was fine but we had more hysterics getting into the room. Alas--we had a usual lunch of pb&j pita, veggies and fruit, and off for naps. This afternoon: my dear friend Lindsay is town for work and this evening she came to play with us. So great to see her! She joined us on our daily walk to Abu Manal's to drop off laundry, to buy fruit from Amir, to get a can of oats from the shop. She observed the little ticking time bomb Mayumi who, on our excursion, barely held it together after the disappointment of Emi being the first to find a little fake gold chain necklace on the ground. She just could NOT accept that Emi had first "dibs" on it. But we made it back to the hotel without too much of a scene and enjoyed Lindsay's company while I assembled dinner--smoothies and cereal (girls)/hummus (adults). So happy to have Lindsay here and can't wait to spend time with her over the next few days. Final note: we just cannot seem to keep the girls clothed properly. I brought for them about four outfits a piece and have since added a few items, but still it just does not seem to be enough even though we take the laundry to Abu Manal every four days or so. In the first place, I occasionally forget to bring the girls' soiled clothes along as they put their dirty clothes in a different cupboard than ours. And/or if we drop the clothes off on a Thursday we cannot get them until Saturday afternoon. Add to that the fact that the girls clothes get so dirty that they simply cannot wear anything twice between washings...or shouldn't. I will admit that I have had to back through their dirty clothes and pull out things that weren't too soiled... Today was the bottom of the barrel. Yumi literally had nothing to wear. She opened her drawer, found it bare, and said (in Arabic) "oh well, I have no clothes today." She then very matter-of-factly took a shirt and pair of shorts from Emi's drawer and pulled them on. She may be very vain about her hair but she does not seem to be too concerned about her clothes. Good thing, at least today: an I "Heart" NY shirt size 2T that showed a silver of her belly and size 18 months boy cargo shorts belonging to my nephew Niels that somehow came along with us to Jordan. Funny thing about those shorts is that all three girls have worn them at least once!