Dubai Consumer Mirror

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Reduax: Ramadan Kareem, lets keep it that way

Wishing everyone Ramadan Kareem.

Just to set a few facts straight for y'all who are still new to this place in this time of year.

Fasting Ramadan is when Muslims don't eat or drink from dawn till dusk

Not just that: Its an examination of self discipline to cleanse one's mind, body and soul from anything that satisfies the urges (in general). It is to teach people that there are others out there who are not as fortunate as yourself, and who don't even have the privilege of basic needs such as food, water or shelter.

So in Ramadan, its not right to extravagantly indulge on food and drink. During fasting, one is to hold urges like smoking, lust, anger, lying, random impulses such as the urge to beat the living daylights out of someone because he is a moron-on-wheels, the urge to slap the driver of the car next to you because he is a seasoned nose-explorer, the urge to shove your foot up the next door neighbor’s rear-end for being not so neighborly, the urge to honk sporadically at the White Nissan Sunny that’s hogging the far left lane at 45 kmph... and stuff like that.

When you see/experience any of the things above, and you will, just move away and move on …

Going to a Ramadan Tent is a daily religious ritual that all Muslims should follow.

Wrong again; Sadly, many Muslims today go to more Ramadan Tents than they do to mosques. They spend more money on Shisha and snack food during this month, than they ever did in donations, Zakat or charity in their entire life time. That's just wrong.

Do yourself a favor, after you pay the check for a sohor night in one of those so called Ramadan Tents, ask yourself: How many families cab this money -that you just paid for 2 shishas and 1 tea-, feed through out Ramadan?

Fasting in Ramadan means Muslims do little or no work at all.

During Prophit Mohammed (PBUH) time, Muslims went to war in Ramadan. There is nothing more divine and self disciplining than to struggle through the daily hardship of going to work to make ends meet while sustaining self-control.

Those fasting laborers who spend over 12hrs a day working under the scorching sun, experience the true bliss of this holy month more than anyone else.

Don't use Ramadan as an excuse for not doing work, guess what, some argue that you actually break your fast this way.

Ramadan means staying all night watching Arabic TV soaps and other forms of entertainment.

It also means staying all night contemplating, meditating and asking God for forgiveness for all the crap you've been doing all year long. Ramadan is a great opportunity to get closer to God, go through what/who you did wrong, and reach out to old friends and family you haven't spoken to in ages and so forth..

Iftar HAS to be a scrumptious 12 course meal

LOADS of food is wasted during Ramadan. I agree, no one said not to enjoy having a good Iftar meal; just bare in mind that while you do, there are many people like you in Iraq, Palestinian refugee camps, some parts of Africa and many other places where an Iftar meal during Ramadan is no different than any other time of the year: 1 tiny serving a day, if ever available.

Non-fasting people shouldn’t eat in front of Muslims

Like myself, many Muslims don’t mind it when non-fasting people eat or drink around them. Nevertheless, and out of consideration and common courtesy if you do not fast, and end up being surrounded by fasting colleagues - you may wanna ask for permission if you can eat/drink/smoke/wear see-thru cloths/low cut tops/mini skirts/hip huggers with thongs sticking out and so forth.

Ramadan Kareem to all ..

Note: This post was published a few years back. I am republishing it as per several reader requests.

Enoc attendants dropped gas station service… and 'courtesy' along the way

I was very thrilled to hear that self-service gas stations have made their way to the UAE.

I was not thrilled, however, when I heard about a not-very-gentleman-like attitude of one Eppco-Enoc gas stations supervisor in one of the new self service stations in Dubai.

My wife, very visibly 8-months pregnant woman, pulled into one of the new self service gas after a long busy day of running errands with our hyper-active toddler. Pregnancy was really having its tool on her that day, it was extremely hot and she didn’t want to leave our 3 year old girl alone in the car. She asked the attendant standing next to her car if he could help her fill the car.

“NO! Self service only,” the supervisor abruptly answered.

My message to that supervisor:
I hope you are proud of yourself. If you were half the man you claim you are, your dignity would have at least suggested to offer assistance to a pregnant women, not just standing there watching her.

A message to the lads at Eppco-Enoc:
You guys still have a lot to learn. Give Kuwait National Petroleum Company in Kuwait a ring. KNPC rolled self-service stations over 15 years ago. At every station, there are always a couple of people who are ready to assist women or anyone with a valid reason for assistance.

It’s not about following the rules, its about professional and common courtesy.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bone-full KFC nuggets that can chock you to death

A while back, my daughter discovered the concept of “chicken nuggets”. Trying to maintain a healthy balance, we make sure she doesn't have more than 3 to 4 pieces per week. Usually on our eating-out day on the weekend. Her favorite is the STAR shaped ones that Hardee's serve.

Last week, I picked my daughter up from the children's play area in Mall of the Emirates. The area is next to one of the food courts there. She said she was hungry and that she wanted chicken nuggets.

Since there was no Hardee's at that court, I got some nuggets from KFC instead.

While she was on her second piece, my daughter came up to her mother with her mouth open and looking agitated. "mama.. mama.. yucky," she mumbled while pointing at her mouth's full.

We opened her mouth and found a huge piece of chicken bone with a sharp, point edge! Can you believe this? My daughter would've easily chocked on it.

I took a few shots of the thing just to give you some perspective to the size of the bone fragment my 3 year old daughter's almost chocked on.

Its been a while

I know .. had a few family matters to attend to over the past few weeks.

Will be back shortly..

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Home Upgrades

Today was a busy one .. I got 2 things for home. Though they might seem very insignificant, but I honestly think they will change the way we significantly do things around the house.

Deep Freezer.
I've been crunching some numbers lately. With the cost of food rising in this place (and everywhere else for that matter), it may only seem reasonable to look at stockpiling and storage. So, i went to Carrefour the other day and bought me one of them Small deep freezers. Now, instead of me buying 1 or 2 chickens every time i visit the mall. I'll go to the wholesaler and get me a 12 piece cartoon. And instead of buying lamb or beef by the kilo, i'll head straight to the Abattoir, and get me a half a lamb or something like that. It’ll be fresh and will definitely cost less.

With Ramadan being one month away, I think its the perfect time for this. If you know anything about Ramadan, food prices tend to go up like CRAZY here. The freezer cost was about Dhs 500. But i know it will save me loads of money and, most important, time.

New DVD player.
For some odd reason, i've been noticing, when it is very late at night and things are really really quiet, that my DVD player makes an annoying hissing, humming sound. Odd thing about this, it only does that when the machine is switched off! The sound disappears when I switch it on.

So, today, I though of buying another one. I didn't want anything fancy, because I already watch everything on the laptop. Just wanted something quiet and would play my daughter’s Dora, Barney and Winnie the Poo DVDs.

By pure luck, I found a DVD player that actually plays Divix files. Not only that, it has a USB port at the front panel. I wasn't sure it would play the AVI files that i have, but it was for about Dhs 200. And i wanted a new DVD player anyways. I just bought it and tried it the first thing i came home, and guess what. It worked. Now, i can watch movies on my 42" without having to burn stuff, it just plays anything I download straight off any USB stick. Yay.

Oh, and remember this? Well, they actually came and fixed the ceiling light fixture today.

Pretty productive.. don't u think? :)