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13 Ramadan Fixtures

Ramadan turns us all into zombies, in more than one way. From out daily tarneeb games to our insane bursts of anger, for one month of the year we all start behaving in exactly the same way, and we do it every single year.

Ramadan comes and goes every year; that month of starvation and soup (the latter of which is pretty much redundant now that it lands splat bang in the middle of summer). And every year, without fail, we as a nation partake in a series of habits that seem to suddenly emerge during this one month, and then once it has passed retreat back into the darkness where they belong. Here are 12 things that happen without fail, every Ramadan.

1. Your efficiency levels are reduced to about 0.04%. You just sit there in front of your screen in zombie mode, little imaginary burgers dancing in front of your eyes. Occasionally, you type some words. Usually, those words are 'feed me'.  

2. At some point during the month, you will blank completely on the fact that you're fasting and eat something by accident, usually just a few minutes before Iftar. And you will not for a second regret those glorious moments when your starvation-addled mind created a memory wormhole and allowed you to eat a bite of anything, guilt-free.  

3. On the first few days of Ramadan, you will have to endure the wonders/horrors of a giant family 3ozooma where the person hosting will make enough food to feed thirteen armies, and all your relatives will be there shrieking, "Kibeerti ya habebti!!", and asking you personal questions about your life, like why you aren't engaged yet, or how come you didn't eat more molokheya, and generally being the loud and boisterous Egyptians that we are.

4. Throughout the day, you will crave your caffeine fix like a junkie, and you'll be so hungry you'd sacrifice your grandma for a cookie, leading to you - in those few moments where you are not firmly entrenched in zombie mode - switching to angry bitch mode.

5. If you're a smoker, consider the former effect multiplied by 58. You will experience massive nicotine withdrawal and turn into a raging bitch until you can draw that sweet, sweet smoke into your lungs after Iftar.

6. All of a sudden tawla and cards become the official national sports of the country. During sohours, there's an imaginary signal whereupon everyone retreats into groups of four and plays tarneeb for six hours straight like it's holy law. No one will allow a single day to pass without a round of tarneeb.

7. Shisha will take precedence above all other things after Iftar. Every Ramadan outing must include a shisha, and should you suggest going somewhere that does not serve shisha you will be faced with perplexed stares as though you just suggested everyone should cut off their own toes for fun.

8. Every Iftar you will tell yourself you'll control your intake. Every Iftar you will fail miserably at this quest, stuff your face with every single dish available, have seconds, thirds and fourths, and then instantly regret it the second you leave the dining table because you’ve eaten your own weight in food.

 9. You will gain the dreaded Ramadan weight, ruining all your hopes for a formet el Sahel body once its over.

10. At one point you will be counting the very seconds left till the adan and an argument will ensue over whether the TV or the mosque next to your house was right. We always go with the first one to go off.

 11. If you're a girl, you will pray for your period.

12. At one point, you will just hover above the food like a weird creeper and just inhale the smell, allowing your taste buds to live vicariously through your nostrils.

 
13. Between the hours of 7pm and 4am, all food is fair game. You will not let more than 30 seconds pass without something in your mouth, lest you regret not eating it once the Fagr goes off.