The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived….R-A-M-A-D-A-N! I still don’t know what it means exactly, but I’m being swept away by it anyway. I think I mentioned in the last post that Muslim folks like to fast during the entire month of Ramadan, but it’s not the kind of fast that Ghandi was so fond of. What they do here, from what I gather, is wake up at 3am for prayer, eat a hearty breakFAST and then don’t eat or drink again until 6pm that evening. That means no juicy watermelon (it’s in season now), no fried rice, no water…not even a tic tac will pass through the lips of an Alah fearing Muslim during Ramadan. I hadn’t planned on joining in the on the fun, because the couple of times I tried fasting in the past were horrible failures, but here I am, mentally preparing to partake. What, or rather, who swayed me? It was my new host sister. She was so sweet about it and was all giggly when I told her I would consider it that the least I can do is give it a go, but I’m not abstaining water…that’s just silliness. Can you just imagine the bad breath that’ll be filling the air for the next month?
It’s a beautiful nite here and I couldn’t be happier in my new home with my new friends and my new host family. Just moments ago I was sitting on the front porch with my host father, eating four huge pieces of fresh, sweet watermelon. The wind was blowing and it was cooler than usual. We started comparing facts about the weather here and the weather in Florida. When I told him we sometimes get tornados, he went on 10 minute jag about how the word tornado means “nipple” in Indonesian, because it starts small, then grows bigger. I told him I understood, but he continued on with his explanation and even incorporated a visual aid by pulling down his shirt and showing me his little tornados. Just when I thought it was over, he passed on one more gem, teaching me the Bahasa Jawa word (one of the different languages here) for nipple (Puting and Pintin, respectively). Yes sir, thanks to my new host dad, I’m damn near a nipple expert now.
I’ve literally been more social in the last 24 hours here than I was in the entire month at my previous spot. It always goes back to following your instinct and, fortunately, I listened this time and wound up where I needed to be. I’ve got to wake up at 2am so I can get in a little JoeTime before the start of the fast. Wish me luck!
*P.S. the tittle for this was a little “shot out” to Lil Rene, Big John and Russell…ref. “This is for La Raza” 😉