And there’s a gorgeous spiral staircase from basement to top floor. Unfortunately, the power was out and this was the best picture I could get:
Lame. But do you know what’s even lamer? The power being out for three days. In the summer. S-E-W-A spells Incompetent.
Finally, today was Day 1 of the Holy Month of Ramadan, and thus the beginning of the Muslims’ 30-day fast. In the UAE, it’s against the law to eat in public during this month and so all the food courts in the mall close down for the day, as well as all the restaurants on campus. Business hours are cut to six-hour days (and often fewer), and the whole country turns sluggish–and to an even greater degree this year because its the heat of the summer. From sunrise to sunset, there is no eating, drinking or smoking. That makes a lot of people really cranky, and exceptionally inefficient. These are all reasons to loathe Ramadan.
And then, the sun sets. The cannon is fired, and suddenly there is life once again. People are feasting and partying and inviting each other over to feast and party with neighbours and family members, parties where they stuff you so full you can hardly walk out the door. Malls become packed, restaurants make fortunes, and the land echoes with prayers and recitations of the Qu’ran.
It is a very cool time to be in the Middle East.