Ramadan started today. A whole month where Muslims fast in the daylight hours and concentrate on spiritual matters. It is one of the five pillars of Islam and is crucially important to everyone in the community. Everyone fasts and everyone celebrates together when the cannon goes off, the Muezzin sounds the call to prayer and it is time to eat and drink.
I am not Muslim, and I don’t fast, but of course, living in Morocco, I try to show my respect.
So, when I was getting ready to cycle out to the Palmeraie this morning, I decided that cycling shorts and a wicking T shirt were not going to do the trick in terms of appropriate attire. Time to get creative. I pulled out a long, silk Jelaba I had made here. It is basically a long dress with long sleeves and a hood at the back. Cool and comfortable – perfect.
On it went over the shorts and T shirt, skimming my ankles lightly to show off my glamorous cycling shoes, and with just enough space at the end of my sleeves for my red and black cycling gloves to peek through. Topped off with my helmet and shades, I was ready to go.
First challenge was getting my leg over the bar, but with the bike nearly on the ground, it was achieved with perfect modesty. Off I set – chic and demure. And yes, a little bit smug.
Oh Dear! I hadn’t reckoned with a frisky headwind. Next thing I knew my Jelaba was up to mid-thigh, exposing way too much naked leg for my, or indeed anyone else’s, liking. I pulled it down, it rode up. I tried again, same thing. If I cycled really slowly, it stayed down, but the merest hint of speed and that hemline headed north.
To crown my shame, I was wearing my mini fishnet cycling shorts because I thought no-one would see them.
My intentions were SO good, but I ended up cycling down the highway with a vast expanse of white leg, topped with fishnet, emerging from a silky long robe… that was not what was meant to happen.
Ramadan Mubarak everyone.