We do not fast for Ramazan. We are not sure how many of our neighbours are fasting. Some of them most certainly are not but we guess that many of them are not. It’s tough this time of year for those who are fasting, the daylight hours are long and hot and those who fast do not allow anything to pass their lips. We know that the Ramazan fast is extremely important for devout Muslims, so we try to be a bit discrete when eating during hours of daylight. Our back terrace is not precisely hidden, but it is secluded, people actually have to look in our direction in order to see us, so we do have breakfast there (long, long after the sun has risen). We’ve been eating dinner pretty late anyway, it’s more pleasant to eat after the blasting heat of the day has passed. So waiting for the Iftar hour is no hardship, and our roof, where we eat dinner for nearly half the year, is very overlooked.
The restaurants and bars in town are mostly open and doing a roaring trade. Tourist numbers seem to have risen again, or maybe we’ve just been going into town when the tourists are about. During Ramazan we go to bars and restaurants about as often as we do at other times. The tea houses remain populated, men playing backgammon and okey, there are less tea glasses than during other months, but hardly none. There are plenty of people eating, drinking and smoking on the beach, so we don’t worry about sipping our water or drinking an ice tea. The burquini count is definitely down (but they are not entirely absent from the beaches).
We have heard the drummers most nights. They come round at around 03:30 to wake people up in time to eat before dawn. A week or so back they toured the district, collecting money. We gave them a few lira which seems to have improved our standing in the neighbourhood. It was wonderful to watch, as, like the pied piper they collected a huge crowd of children.
We love the Ramazan pide which become available this time of year. These are breads, flat but pillowy, wonderfully chewy and spiced with sesame and nigella. One thing that puzzles us – there is a huge premium set on getting your pide hot from the baker – there are queues for hot pide from when they appear (soon after five most evenings) but, if you are fasting, you can’t eat it till sunset… They smell so delicious that they must be very, very hard to resist.