COVID DIARY: DAY 66, Eid in Strange Times

Eid is normally a time for family, community and over indulgence in good food. The day should start with a congregational prayer that is attended by everyone (even those that have been MIA all year). Then I normally take all the roast chicken we’ve made and a smorgasbord of desserts we’ve made at home over to my mum’s house. The boys are all there too and we get started on the feasting. The girls turn up a few hours later, dressed in their finest and several layers of makeup plastered on. This marks the starting point of them trying to convince us to take them out somewhere entertaining as a family. Eventually the guys cave in and we end up driving around because the girls expectations are much more advanced than their planning. Afterwards, they’ll want to go out to eat, even though we spent most of yesterday and the night before cooking. Popping home for a break from everyone is a cherished escape. That’s what Eid normally looks like.

This year we did the food prep the day before, and I spent most of the night tending to the roast (oven isn’t big enough to cook 8kg of marinated chicken and 4kg of potatoes at the same time). I managed to catch a few hours of sleep in between switching trays out and removing or replacing foil. As usual, I was the first to get dressed in my Eid clothes, groomed and perfumed. I did the rounds to drop off the roast to all the families individual homes. This meant I got to see most of my family on Eid (bonus!). Being the first up, I became the designated delivery boy. Biryani deliveries from my sister-in-law and sweet rice deliveries from my mum.

This was followed by gift giving drop offs for all of our nephews and nieces that live locally. It used to be gifts of money, but in the past few years the women have favoured gift buying instead. By the time we’re done doing deliveries it’s nearly lunch time.

Lunch time is delayed by an hour as there is a flurry of video calls and photography. The women in my family are big fans of preserving every moment in video and pictures. I photo bomb as many pictures as I can (in protest).

Eventually we get to the feasting. The food is all delicious although we may have underestimated the fieryness of the marinade on the chicken. After food we dish out the gifts we have bought for the kids and each other (trying to make up for the kids not being able to hang out with their cousins and not being able to go out). My son’s reactions are the best, especially when he opens the Neka Friday 13th Jason figure from my kid sister. After all the wrapping paper is disposed of, we get to the important business of eating dessert.

The rest of the day was spent watching the kids trying out their new video game (Dreams). Next we played the Iron Man VR demo (awesomeness). We snacked throughout the day on crisps, maltesers and coffee but didn’t really have another meal (a month of fasting does that to you). We did our daily prayers together, made a few more phone calls and spent the day reminiscing of days of Eids past.

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