Ramadan for travellers

Fortunately, I don’t have to go hungry during Ramadan while travelling in Syria. Although many restaurants are closed during the day, there are always some who don’t miss out on business. There is even beer in the Christian quarter. Still, it’s a pity that you can’t sit down in a tea house for an hour as usual to rest and watch the hustle and bustle. Even when I take a sip from my water bottle, I attract envious glances, even though many Muslims don’t take it quite so seriously and drink water themselves.

During Ramadan, everything is a bit quieter, many sleep half the day away or try to move as little as possible. In the evening, the call to prayer is more like the call to eat. Suddenly, all the restaurants are packed, many tables are already piled high with platters of meat and plates of mezze like hummus, tabouleh and baba ghannouj, and everyone is just waiting for the liberating call of the muezzin. Another time I am standing at a stall with fresh mulberry juice. At the first crack of the loudspeaker, a man who had been sitting on the kerb for some time rushes to the stand for the juice he has been waiting for so long. If you walk through the alleys later on, you look into the satisfied faces, all is well with the world again.

Somewhat inconvenient for travellers is that during Ramadan the opening hours of museums can be unpredictably shortened. And buses can also be cancelled, e.g. three times a day instead of every 2 hours…

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