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Friday, October 15, 2010

Living in Cairo: Daylight Saving Time

The end of Daylight Saving Time in the fall has always been at sad time of the year for me.  One of my favorite times is in the long summer evenings when the crickets sing in the bushes as the sun slowly sets before the cooling dews set in the grass.  All of the days after June 21 are sad days because they are growing shorter.  All of the days after December 21 are happy days because they are growing longer.

This enjoyment has been stymied as I have become a mother of children with early bedtimes.  Evening walks really aren't possible when all of the children are in bed before the sun sets, and now that I'm in Cairo there's not even a backyard to sit in and enjoy the twilight.

Still, however, my dislike of the end of daylight saving time has persisted.  Having my children wake up with the sun at 5:45 on Saturdays doesn't help my irritation.

So last year when the Egyptian government announced several days before Ramadan that DST would end early that year - the 16th of August - I was annoyed.  To lose even more time of precious summertime evening for a holiday I don't celebrate was obnoxious.  Not that I was going to stage a protest - that's what I get for being a Christian in a Muslim country.

This year Ramadan started ten days earlier because of the discrepancy in lunar and solar calendars.  And so DST ended ten days earlier also - the 6th of August.  Thankfully I was in the US for most of Ramadan and so didn't have to be awoken by my children with the sun at 4:30.  When we came back everyone was so jet-lagged that an hour either way didn't make a difference.

However, a week after we returned, Ramadan ended.  And since Ramadan was over, there was no need to have the sun set earlier (the fast is from sunrise to sunset), and everyone's clocks got set back to DST.

And then three weeks after that, DST ended.  Again.

My children's sleep schedules are still in protest and my Saturday mornings are not nearly so pleasant as they were before R&R-DST ending-DST starting-DST ending happened.  But I suppose that's what happens when one moves to a third-world Muslim country, right?


UnkaDave said...

OK, so let me get this straight; it was NOT DST for Ramadan, then it was, then it WASN'T?!! If I were confident that my comments were not being monitored by the You-Know-Who Security Police, I would say something. Since they probably are, but could probably care less, I'll go ahead and say, That sounds pretty nuts, very out of character for The Eternal and Wonderful State of Egypt.

Bridget said...

I heard about this and that is crazy. I think I would have just never changed my clock and everyone else could have just dealt with it.