Life in Tucson

Ramadan in the US: Surviving the Pandemic

I just had to make Ketupat for Eid 😉

I am not sure if I could write a lot for this post. I guess I just want to make it short.

Ramadan this year was really different, especially with COVID19 pandemic. You know I don’t go out that much, but staying home because I choose to stay home is really different from staying home because “I cannot go out.” Well, I can go out, but it won’t be too safe, will it? Especially because I’m away from home, I can’t just be careless and get sick. I don’t want to make anyone worry about me. I guess I just don’t want to bother anyone. But, oh, well, this thing has started to take a toll on me, or have I stated it before? It’s really lonely even for a loner like me.

And especially during Ramadan! Well, it’s true that I didn’t go out that much during Ramadan in the previous years when I was in the US. It’s hot and I’m a spoiled Muslim, so no, I don’t want to go out with the high temperatures outside during the day. But, usually I would go to the Islamic Center of Tucson to have iftar and pray tarawih. And that’s how I could feel the spirit of Ramadan. This year, however, I could not do that. The mayor issued a stay-at-home order and we weren’t allowed to gather in large groups due to Covid19, so to be safe, the Islamic Center of Tucson didn’t have the iftar and tarawih prayers either. To be honest, I wasn’t really sad about not getting free food for Iftar. I can always cook food that suits my taste and my tongue anyway. What I was saddest the most about it was the fact that I had to pray Tarawih alone 🙁 I really don’t like doing tarawih prayers alone. Since I was a kid, I always prayed tarawih together with my family. Or when I was away doing my undergraduate study or for work, there was always a (small) mosque where I could join to pray tarawih. So this year’s Ramadan was a total loss for me 🙁

I mean, the other kinds of prayers, I can always do on my own. Reading Qur’an or the five-time daily prayers. I always do it alone, anyway. But Tarawih is special for me because we can do it only in Ramadan. And the thing about praying alone is that I suck at praying. LoL I mean, I’m not sure if it’s acceptable, like my mind might be wandering somewhere else when I’m doing the prayers. Hmm I’m not sure if I explain this well. If you’re not a Muslim perhaps you’ll get confused, I’m so sorry. But, ugh, doing tarawih together (we call it jamaah, by the way) is great because even if my individual prayer is not acceptable at least the reward for praying together is always guaranteed, and somehow I find it exciting 😀

But, oh, it doesn’t mean my Ramadan didn’t go well. On the contrary, it went quite well. First of all, I am so happy that I owe only 4 days this year, because of my period in the beginning and the end of Ramadan, so I guess I can pay it faster than usual ^^ It makes me happy because usually I owed more days than that. Also, I am blessed to have kind people around me. Some of the Indonesian families here occasionally sent me some food for Iftar and suhoor. One of them also gave me some milk, yogurt, cereals, etc. It helped a lot because I didn’t even go to the campus pantry to get some food during Ramadan. (Well, again, I didn’t want to go out with those high temperatures. LoL) So yeah, sometimes I wonder why these people are so kind to me. I don’t think I’m that good of a person to deserve such kindness, so perhaps it’s my parents’ prayers ^^

And I found fun things to post on my Instagram, too! Somehow I started this series of me posting the food I ate with some music. Gosh, I love sharing the music I listen to with others. Well, I can’t share all of them, but hopefully they’ll get to love some songs that I think have good/meaningful lyrics 🙂 But, ugh, I usually posted it during suhoor time. Initially I posted during iftar, but there was time in our group chat where a friend in Indonesia complained because we posted pics of food when it was day time in Indonesia. But, he might be joking. Still, I didn’t want to offend anyone. However, I still don’t get why such people still exist (I mean, the ones that weren’t joking, but really serious about not having food posts and stuff during Ramadan). I mean, the point of fasting is to refrain ourselves from temptation. If there’s no temptation, what are we refraining from, right? But anyway, here are some Instagram-story pics from my Ramadan edition 😉

Time flew, Ramadan ended, but Corona is not over yet. Sigh. And because there’s still pandemic, we could not pray Eid either. Well, you know what? Actually I prayed to get my period during Eid so that I didn’t have to pray Eid alone. LoL But I got it 2 days before Ramadan ended. Haha It’s strange because usually I really wanted to join Eid prayers because it’s only once-in-a-year kind of prayers so I kinda don’t want to miss it. But this year was different. Because we didn’t have Eid prayers together so I needed an excuse to not do it myself 😀 And I’m glad that I was on my period ^^

This year’s Eid: Friends, food, and Netflix.

But, well, thankfully I could still eat some Indonesian Eid food as usual because one of the Indonesian family here kindly invited us to her house. Well, it’s only few people. Usually she would invite a lot, but because of Covid19, to have a large crowd was simply not an option. I had fun, though. And I got to watch the movie I have always wanted to watch too! It’s the To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You movie in Nexflix 😀 Too bad I couldn’t stay for some karaoke, though. I came with a friend, and she looked like she wanted to go home earlier so I guess I had to go home earlier too because I was the one taking her to join the event. I don’t mind, though, because I wanted to rest at home to recharge myself too 🙂

And, mm, I made some video calls with my family at home, so it’s alright. But I really hope this pandemic will be over soon. This whole situation of Covid19 is hard for many people 🙁

PS: While it’s still Syawal, the Eid month, let me wish you a happy Eid. Eid Mubarak. Hopefully we all become a better and happier person after Ramadan. My sincere apologies for my posts that might have hurt you in any way. Thank you for reading. I might not know who you are since you don’t always leave some comments, but I really hope there are one or two posts that you find meaningful and helpful. Let’s hang in there…

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