Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ramadan Blues

The thing about Ramadan in NY is that almost every mosque represents a different part of the world. I found a watermelon themed jainamaz from the Bengali man with the incense rack that always makes me embarrassed, mostly unsure if the bearded vendors notice that they sell fragrances titled "lick me all over" and "touch me here" right under the "patti labelle" shelf. I guess she's wholesome enough for all of us.
The Syrian and Egyptian hanouts share my loyalties when it comes to "canned fooul" and expired halal cheese.
I once frequented the Burkina Faso-ian market but I've converted over to Kosher meat from Trader Joe's because I can't be bothered to skin my own chickens (and to think I ever imagined I could marry a Moroccan). It was fun speaking French though. They were all so nice to me. They invited me to their country.
I'm invited.
As is the way, the only place I could find to belong was the place no one belongs. The "University" Islam scene is somewhat of an enigma. Complete with flourescent lights to spotlight the sins we commit pre-lunch break, the Islamic center is housed in the basement cafeteria of a church on 6th Avenue. The community is something of a collision between the Pakistani Student's Association and the Palestinian Student's Association, and somehow I can't pass for either. (Something about my nose not being pointy enough. Both nations of the pointy nose...) I fled to Columbia where I correctly predicted that most of the kids at Iftar dinner weren't even Muslim, and was met by a special presentation of the Nakshabandi Turkish Sufis. The Taraweh was more of a workout than a spiritual reflection but I think I just need to get the hang of all that up-and-down. Even I hated pilates on the first day. This is like pilates + God. In any case I will go back next week and see if I can be inspired.
Which as I recall, seemed to happen through various means, several times daily, in Tangier.
I'm not moping, I'm just saying.

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