It's that time of year, so my inbox and social media feeds are (helpfully) filling up with guidelines and helpful tips for the holy month here in the kingdom. I had the bare basics down already, but I've been reading most of the emails and articles and trying to memorize what business on the Dharma compound are open at the usual time and which ones are closed until sunset.
One sentence that I read yesterday while googling was, "Ramadan is a poor month for planning birthday celebrations," and you know what? That was actually was I on the computer researching.
Madeline turns eleven years old in a little more than one week. Since her birthday usually falls after school is finished for the year and most of her schoolmates have left for their summer holidays, parties aren't the most practical plan, but we have a pretty established tradition of going to the movie theatre for her birthday to see the latest Disney or Pixar summer release. It's lovely, and there's popcorn.
My understanding is that movie theatres don't actually exist in KSA with the exception of ones on housing compounds, but the cinema at the City Centre Mall in Bahrain is a mere sixty-minutes-or-less drive away. We'd kind of been planning to take Madeline to see Inside Out in Bahrain. We could have a nice dinner and a swim there, too. This idea began to percolate a couple of months ago, definitely before I started to get those Ramadan: What You Need to Know emails.
So, now what I know is that there is a good chance that the movie theatres in Bahrain might not be operating on Madeline's birthday until after sunset. Actually, for that matter, neither Chris nor I are totally certain that they're going to be open at all. That's fine ... but I'm just not sure that our contingency plan for celebrating my kid's trip around the sun should be!
I'd feel kind of bad if her birthday is just another day of hanging around the apartment, you know? Even if I bake awesome brownies.