Ramadan – so good to have Muslim friends

13 Jun

As the towel incident has shown, EVERY item of daily use or consumption is a commodity aboard this ship. Nearly everything has to be traded and smuggled. At least I won’t go hungry. Amin and Ben take great care of my daily provisions. No idea if the food halabalooza is a result of Ramadan, or of Amin’s tendency to oversaturate his own dinner plate. But every night there is a little more bread on the plate that he shoves at me when I turn in to the crew mess.

Ramadan started the 26th of May. I did not even realize it at first, maybe because my atheist roots dip only gently into that realm of Islamic religion. Anyway, it turns out that my friends Amin and Mohammed are muslims, and both are quite exhausted from not eating and drinking during the day, especially since Mohammed is the lead entertainer aboard the ABC RypMeOff.

Vegan breakfast for cruise crew

This is what my breakfast looks like. It’s the most appetizing meal of the day. Do not ask for the others.

Ramadan prohibits food consumption all day for one month. A spectacular feat here in Norway, where the sun never really sets during the summer months. So, if you want to observe the fasting month through more than just quality binoculars (starting €195 at the photo shop!), you have to make some adjustments to your schedule. Luckily, the Muslim community aboard has found a workaround, and thanks to the smartness of phones is now planning their work days with the help of a particular Mecca App. When it is day in Mecca – they sleep and work. When Mecca is at night – they feast.

At least Amin does. He is still seen at the buffet, but only behind the scenes, where he uses his insider connections to the kitchen personnel to fill various Tupper ware containers with the food riches provided. Oddly enough he holds back with the main consumption until midnight. Then he rolls out his catch on a reinforced table in the mess hall, and lavishes in the grandeur of his bounty. Mohammed employs his connections to add fresh supplies from the Crew Mess, including a full loaf of real bread, and even more real marmalade, and in combination these two gentlemen, that I am now so overly happy to call friends, share their daily feast of cruise food.

I’m still no nearer to joining their religious cult than I was before this cruise adventure, but today I can confirm that it is indeed very profitable to have Muslim friends.

canyons in Akureyri, Iceland

There really is no good reason to work aboard a cruise ship, other than travelling the world.

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