- September 14th, 2014
This is from the Summer too, from the end of Ramadan
I was at the gym the other day. It’s a nice gym, not too big, has a sauna and even a small pool and a terrace where you can sunbathe. And it’s ladies only, which is probably a good idea, as it is a rather mixed neighbourhood culturally, with lots of Muslim people. I lay down in the sun on the terrace and a couple of Arabic women come and lay down next to me. Wearing a bikini of course (I never bother). They start chatting and involve me immediately. I’d met them before I guess but I didn’t know their names. I like these women a lot, they’re always good for a girly atmosphere. “This body oil I brought it back from Tunis for her, you want to try some? It’s all natural.” She lets me take some, it has a nice scent of lemon and olive oil. “You know, at the hotel it cost 10€, but outside it was only 4 and still a bit further away it was only 2. And were the locals go, it was only 1,50 so I got it there…”
Then they start a discussion on when exactly the last day of the Fast would be, on Monday or Tuesday. “You know some Turkish people they go according to the calendar but others go according to the Moon…” I grab the chance to query them a little bit about the Ramadan; I’m curious to know how they relate to it. “Today we get to eat at 9.30 that’s when the Sun sets.” I say that I would find it very hard not to be able to drink even water during the whole day. “Yes, eat or drink nothing till the evening…” None of this is new to me really, but it’s interesting to hear it from them directly, without even the men present. I also ask whether all the Muslims do the fasting or just a part of them “You have to do it. You have to. Except when you’re ill. Or children or old people. And pregnant women and nursing mothers.” – “Or when you have your period. You can’t pray or fast when you have your period uhhh, that’s disgusting you can’t do it. You’re not allowed to touch the Koran either then, it’s haram – impure.” They then go on listing other occasions of impurity “And when you sleep with your husband… after that you’re not allowed to touch the Koran either … cos you’re impure… But you can, when you wash… Yes you have to take a whole body wash first, then only you can touch it again.”
– “It’s better not to sleep with you husband at all”, one of the women concludes.