Ramadan is the whole month for Muslims around the world. It is the month were people fast (do not eat or drink anything from Sunrise to sun set). The thought of not eating might seem strange to many people who have not experienced it themselves but let me assure you, you will not die if you fast and you will be fine 🙂
Here is a list of then things to take into account if you will be in Tunisia in Ramadan.
1. Avoid all big super markets and grocery stores the first two days before the start of the whole month . It is the survival of the fittest show. Again I repeat don’t go anytime during that period. The lines will be absurdly long and it will take for ever to check out things you bought. Not worth I promise you!
2. Expect most of the coffee shops and restaurants to be closed during that fasting period. If you are not observing that month I recommend making sure you check the few places that will be open.
3. Make sure you respect other people’s feelings. I remember how much I disliked that colleague who was drinking coffee in front of me while I was fasting. It was super inappropriate to do that as I was having a terrible headache and the smell of coffee wasn’t helping.
4. Expect to be invited for Iftar (the breaking of fast meal). Tunisians tend to extend invitations to friends and relatives because that month is the one you are encouraged to let go of all the grudge and forgive people.
5. Expect a wide variety of sweets that are tempting and hard to resist. Ramadan is that month that people crave tons of sweets things so that usually leads to many delicious treats.
7. Expect a raise of few veggies prices. Parsley is one of the things which will be 4 times more expensive. I recall every year cursing the farmers for the insane prices of a basic thing. But if you know that such a herb is used daily in two of the most frequently cooked meals you will understand the high prices.
8. Make sure you check one of the night evenings Iftar in downtown. I recommend checking few restaurants in the capital as that will be a pure cultural experience.
9. Visit the Medina and have a cup of Turkish coffee or mint tea. You will love the lights and the fun music or celebrations in there. There are usually various options to check if you are into old music or art.
10. Be aware of the Tunisian Briks! Tunisians make briks (a typical spring roll stuffed with tuna/meat or see goodies mixed with cheese,eggs,parsley) you will find them as an essential element in the Iftar table anywhere you are.
To conclude I wish all those who are observing the month all the best. May it be one moth full of blessings and peace!