Yesterday and today, the first days back in the office during Ramadan, were a bit difficult. There was a constant gnawing from my stomach (where’s my snack!?), and my mouth felt dry (waaaater).

I’m trying to be cognizant that my officemates are fasting.

Then we got a notice from security:

“A spokesman for the Supreme Court has been quoted on local television news that anyone eating, drinking or smoking in public during Ramadan will be arrested.  This includes those with exemptions from fasting, (people travelling, the sick and nursing mothers), who are expected to eat and drink in private.  Advisors should avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public during day light hours, including while in vehicles.

While I don’t really think I would be arrested in public, it’s probably best to be careful.  And in the office, I’m trying to be respectful. I still go home and have a huge lunch though!

I want to clearly state that I didn’t sign up to fast, and I think it’s important to eat and drink throughout the day. And while changing your diet and eating times might be healthy (just like changing your workout routine), I find no religious significance to it.

I am very thankful for being able to go home for lunch. And I am also thankful that all of the restaurants in Kabul that I’m allowed to go to are behind heavily fortified gates, which practically means you’re not eating in public.

I do feel sorry for my National staff. Some of these Afghans lived outside the country for many years (one guy lived in CA for the last 15 years), but culturally (and potentially lawfully), they have to fast. And during the summer, sun up to sundown is a long time. I can already see the signs of fatigue and crankiness. It’s going to be a long month for them.