I really had no intention of doing the Ramadan thing - but whether one chooses to fast or not, it is impossible to avoid being affected.
Setting the scene:
It's 95 degrees downtown. The traffic is gridlocked. Almost none of the taxis (or other vehicles) have AC. And - Ramadan - drinking water (or anything else) is not permitted for muslims. ALSO 90% of the men here smoke...but they can't light up all day. And, of course, no food (which is actually a blessing because people then have less energy to instigate fights). So, the result is that people are cranky and edgy but in a slow-motion kind of way.
I... as an, um, 'Christian' am free to eat and drink without being struck down by God or even judged by the locals. In fact, the family I'm staying with has invited me to go ahead. But I can't eat in front of them. It feels so rude. Their 9 year old boy spends each afternoon after school just lying on the floor. I'm gonna eat in front of him? But it's illegal to eat or drink in public.
So, what are my options?
1. Stay at home and lay around. Anyone who isn't working is doing this.
2. Go out and run around in 95 degree weather with not a single place to sneak shots of water.
3. Hail a cab and go out to SUBWAY.
The round trip ride costs me about 5JD - which more than doubles the price of my sandwich. I like the 6" tuna on oregano bread. I feel subversive as I order, always checking behind me. I get nervous if too many people walk by. Then I fill my drink (trying to mask the refreshing sound of ice pouring into the cup - the employees are also fasting) and slip upstairs.
See, the problem isn't getting food. In fact, there is an obscene amount of food taunting you all along the way in downtown. You can buy it. You just can't consume it. However, Subway has this sly upstairs dining area they've kept open...so far. Last year they were raided and apparently the muslims that were caught in the place got in some trouble (totally unverified information but I'm not a news organization).
I've eaten there at least five times this week. Walla.