Ramadan’s here again

Saturday saw the first day of Ramadan for this year.

I enjoy Ramadan, although a lot of Westerners here say they find it frustrating. It’s just one of those things – you have to go with the flow. Business will slow down, things will take longer to get done and there’s nothing you can do about it except try to take part in the elements you can enjoy and benefit from.

All office workers, Muslims or not, are entitled to shorter working hours. This doesn’t really affect me as the Middle East is only one of the regions I cover, so I am still expected to take calls or respond to emails as I would normally. That’s fine – I enjoy the flexibility Sun offer in terms of being able to work from home and being objectives based all year round, so I don’t feel hard done by. That said, this part of the world does generate most of the revenue for my product set, so work will definitely be a little quieter, which can make things a bit dull.

Mrs Saul will have shorter working hours, so she’ll be more relaxed and we’ll be able to enjoy the odd iftar buffet here and there, as well as time with our friends.

Unless you’re a fasting office worker who has to be at his or her desk during the working day, traffic will be a lot lighter. The rush hour simply shifts to match the shorter office hours, with the roads being a lot less congested during the rest of the day.

All in all, it’s a pleasant month, with the fun of Eid at the end.

There is one aspect to Ramadan here that I don’t like – a massive increase in dangerous driving. This tends to manifest itself in two ways.

Firstly, you see people driving home at insane speeds just before dusk. This causes accidents every year and is completely unnecessary.

Secondly, driving in the evenings, when people tend to go out more than they usually would, generally deteriorates. During the last couple of evenings I’ve seen a big increase in the kind of tailgating, headlight flashing, speeding and weaving nonsense that used to be the norm all year round but which has died out somewhat over recent years. I appreciate there are lots of blokes out and about, enjoying driving around with their friends of an evening, but come on guys!

There was a huge accident this evening at the junction that leads out of our development, where two people had crashed head on into each other. Sadly, I don’t think it’ll be the last we’ll see over the next four weeks.


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