As many know, Muslims pray 5 times a day. Living in the Middle East means that you live by the prayer times, which change depending on the sun. Most stores close during prayer time, and the midday prayers normally mean stores don't open again until late afternoon because of a rest time during the day. What this means to us is that if you are in the grocery store, you are timing your entire day to get in and out before the store closes.
|just in the nick of time!|
My recent trip to the big city (they have a Safeway there!) meant that we needed to be shopped and paid for by 11:38 a.m. prayer time or else we'd be up a creek. By 11:30, I was in line, but when I looked back at the remaining shoppers, the place looked like an old episode of Supermarket Sweeps. There were people rushing up and down aisles to get all they needed and then running to the front to add it to their carts. Add a gazillion foreigners and the fact that everyone is completely dressed in black, and it made for some hilarious people-watching.
Driving two hours for a proper food shop was a bit much, but the cultural experience (and the awesome food choices) made it worth it!