ramadhan. in malaysia, we fast for about 13 hours. in the netherlands, we fast for just over 19 hours.
it is not easy.
by the 16th hour, i was seeing stars.
it becomes no longer a question of hunger. my stomach has given up rumbling by then. dehydration kicks in and the loudest proponent is the head. like i said, stars. i lie down, my feet elevated, attempting to get enough blood flow to my brain to maintain proper command over the rest of the body. stars. i have to turn off the game – ned was playing mex in the knock off game. it was half time and neither has scored. it wasn’t that interesting of a game anyway. i have to turn off all sources of sound. i have to turn off all sources of light – it was bright and sunny outside as we approach summer. i pull an eye mask over my face, bury the rest of my head under my pillow and attempt to extinguish the stars. oh the stars.
the worse was yet to come.
ten minutes to break of the fast. i have prepared lovely chicken and potato curry. vegetable soup. brown rice. agar-agar with nectarines and bananas and lemon juice. i was set. i had woken up slightly more level headed with anticipation of nutrients.
i break fast with water. it rushes through me, and immediately makes me feel sick. i eat a banana, and four spoons of rice and suddenly, my world felt like it was crashing down. everything that went in wanted to come right back out. the more i attempt to put down, the greater the push to come back out.
masuk angin. blood rush to the stomach.
i give up on dinner. i drink more water. i force eat the agar-agar. the stars have formed a galaxy spinning through my entire universe. i turn everything off and go back to sleep.
i wake up two hours later. sahur.
i feel better. whatever little i took in had sufficiently revitalised my system, somewhat. i heat up the vegetable soup. i eat that with brown rice. i know i should eat more, but that queasy feeling was coming back. i try to pace small portions that is more managable. a bit of chocolate. sugar, i need sugar. water. more water.
today’s strategy will be trying to expel as much wind from my system as possible at the start of the break fast. i am thinking of ginger. and tea. i will see if i can find some after work. otherwise i will make my own. it is by true grace and wisdom of the almighty that compelled me to buy ginger at the market last weekend. i didn’t know what i was going to do with it, i just bought it and thought i will figure it out as the week goes by. and here it is. god had kindly put the solution in my fridge waiting for me to pick it up, to make sweet ginger tea with.
this kindness shall be what i will have on my mind when the stars come floating in this evening.