Saturday, February 19, 2011

the nap trap.

What do you do when you get home from work? Maybe watch TV? Cook dinner? Play with the dog/kids (which is the same thing if you're my sister-in-law)? Well in Saudi the thing to do is nap.

School for us ends at 2:40 pm. So we're home by 3:30 pm if we stick around. It's nice to have so much time to run errands and stuff, but then again...nothing's open! This is an old tradition that has remained a way of life in the Arabian Peninsula. From what I understand, things were so hot during the early afternoon that people just shut down everything and go sit in the shade. With the creation of A/C, people kept the same hours...just now they take the time to nap. That way they can stay awake for the cool evenings and do all the stuff they want to do. This means for us that all the stores are closed until around 4 or so, and things don't really get started until like 9 pm.

When we first got here, we thought it was great. Thanks to the jet lag, we were sleeping after school pretty much everyday. It was also nice to know that we weren't missing much. But now that I've grown accustomed to the time and the way things work here, I'm not so sure it's good. This is a running debate among the Americans here. We affectionately call the daily afternoon nap, "the nap trap". It's a trap (oh c'mon, I had to) because you end up staying up late, which makes you tired the next day, and in need of a nap. Some are totally in favor of it. Some think that it wastes your afternoon.

For me, it changes everyday. Sometimes I just need a nap because I stayed up too late. Sometimes I want to fight against it because I want to get to sleep on time or get something done. Most of the time I find myself annoyed if I sleep during the day. I become worthless for the rest of the day. I'm against the nap trap because I only get so many hours a day to call my own. I don't want to be asleep for them!

Of course, I say all this while the lady is taking a nap...

Vicariously yours,

1 comment:

  1. um, your lady and your Alwahab sister-in-law were wwaayy ahead of the Saudi lifestyle curve- I always knew not to call Raina around 3pm because she would be asleep, and Amber has always enjoyed an afternoon slumber