This is our first time living in a predominantly Muslim country, and we’ve learned a lot about life during Ramadan. Every day, the fast is broken with a meal called Iftar, which begins as soon as the sun sets. By late afternoon, it seems that everything basically revolves around where you’re having Iftar and how you’re getting there. Some people leave work early, and traffic is a complete gridlock as everyone is on the roads to get to Iftar.
Once it’s about 6:45 pm, though, the streets are empty. No cars, few rickshaws, and a handful of pedestrians. It’s a Dhaka miracle.
And that’s when we take Athena for her evening walk. It’s a wonderful, quiet time, and I’m going to miss it after Eid.
If you head out for a walk 20 to 30 minutes before Iftar, be prepared for cars barreling down the street, with little regard for pedestrians, as people hurry to get to Iftar on-time. There aren’t many cars on the roads, but the ones that are out have no time to waste and drive even more crazily than usual.
The solitude of Iftar lasts for about 20 to 30 minutes, and then there are vehicles and people on the streets again. Also on the streets, you will find discarded food, which makes this time of the evening Athena’s favorite time for a walk. She goes into scavenger-mode and will not lift her nose from the ground. Apparently the other night Nate pulled a huge meatball out of her mouth.
We avoid going for walks after about 8:45 pm because there are loads of people on the streets leaving the mosques near our apartment, and this includes mobs of trouble-making boys. They ask us for money and try to hassle Athena, and she gets (understandably) really uncomfortable and anxious. A few nights ago the three of us were out walking, and I had Athena’s leash. Nate was walking behind us to make sure the boys didn’t bother Athena and me, and they threw rocks at him. Little shits.
So no more late night potty breaks for Athena, but she’d rather snuggle and sleep anyways, so I don’t think she cares.
Ramadan lasts until July 17, and we will savor the quiet walks until Ramadan starts again on June 7, 2016!