中国日报网 2014-12-09 13:32





By Amirah Ahmad 刘宇佳 注

Grocery trips have never been as painful as they are now.

The hunger that makes its presence known with a vicious growl can only indicate one thing: Ramadan is here.2

The holiest month of the year, Ramadan is a period of time in which Muslims around the world fast and reflect on their spirituality.3 Ramadan is a time to devoutly practice and emphasize the three of the five key components of Islam: fasting, praying recitation of the Holy Quran, and giving charity.4 This isn’t to say that these principles are not highly regarded during the regular months, however Ramadan is a holy month where Muslims are encouraged to reevaluate their lives as Muslims. This is a time for purification5 of the soul and reconnection to God. Furthermore, this spiritual reflection comes with self-sacrifice6.

Muslims over the age of 18 who have stable health are obligated to7 fast. This means that from sunrise to sunset, Muslims refrain from8 eating and drinking. Thus, my typical schedule is as follows:

4:00 a.m.: Wake up and pray 4:25 a.m.: Head downstairs to eat in preparation for the fast 4:40 a.m.: Come upstairs, pray, and go to bed 11:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m.: Carry out regular duties, say my prayers, read the Quran, and read Islamic books 8:30 p.m.: Open the fast and eat dinner 12:00 a.m.: Go to bed

As you can see, my sleeping schedule has been disrupted9 but that’s a little price to pay for spiritual reflection. What’s more bothersome10, however, is the hunger and the thirst during such a hot month of July. Though I refrain from rigorous11 physical activity and spending time outside, the days I’m working at the dog resort are most difficult. My job requires me constantly stepping outside for short 5 minute walks with each of the dogs. What’s more, I typically have to ascend two flights of stairs just to get to the main yard where we walk the dogs.12 Climbing an average of 50 steps of stairs for every dog, and walking nearly 15 dogs 3 times a day in humid 85 degree Fahrenheit weather, you can assume I get thirsty.13

Even running errands can be brutal.14 A trip to the mall to return or purchase an item is never complete without sniffing the delicious smells that permeate from the dozens of restaurants and fast food joints.15 Passing by the food court, I can even hear the sizzle of fried rice or beef on the grill from Panda Express and the divine cinnamon and sugar aroma coming from the Cinnabon shop legitimately makes my mouth water.16 The grocery store, however, may be the most torturous17 of all destinations.

The colorful isles filled with cartons and boxes of cookies, crackers, cereals, candy, chips, bread, and more are all too tempting.18 We all know what we end up with when grocery shopping with an empty stomach: a full shopping cart. Everything I can possibly desire I stack in my shopping cart, which isn’t the best decision considering my cravings are all junk food.19 What’s more, I occasionally simply skip the produce section since it doesn’t look nearly as appealing as that carton of coffee ice cream with swirls of fudge and balls of cookie dough in the next isle.20 Come time for opening the fast, however, I regret my unhealthy decisions as I look upon a counter filled with junk food and nothing to nourish my hungry stomach.21

Despite these daily dilemmas22, however, Ramadan has given me the opportunity to reflect. As I sit at my desk working on the computer, hearing nothing but my hunger growls, I realize just how grateful I really am. Not only can I eat food whenever I need, I can eat food whenever I want. What’s more, the clothes on my back and the shoes on my feet are blessings in themselves.

I have everything to be grateful for. My appreciation for my life came as an epiphany23. In fact, it came as soon as I woke up from a nap24. About two weeks ago, I fell asleep on the couch after a tiring day at work. An hour and a half later, I awoke to an eerie stillness in my house.25 Considering there are five other family members residing in the same house as me, this lack of activity caught me off guard26 when I suddenly realized I was home alone. Just to check, I walked over to the door leading to the deck27. That was unlocked. Surprised that my family would leave it unlocked, I locked it. I checked the garage28 door, which was also unlocked. I locked it. Hoping that my family had at least the decency to ensure the front door was locked, I walked over to the front door. Unlocked.

Although I was angry at the carelessness of my family members, the incident made me realize how lucky I truly was to live in an area where a girl can safely sleep in her abandoned house alone with all gateways open.

Along with this new thankfulness of life, I have found time to cleanse my soul. I have come to realize that fasting does not only cleanse the physical body, but also the spiritual. As I draw back from the hustle and bustle29 of regular life, I reflect on the more important things. It’s refreshing to take a step back, just so that you can step back into life on the right foot.


1. Ramadan: 斋月,是伊斯兰教历第九个月,因教义规定穆斯林在该月履行斋戒功课而定名,是穆斯林修炼心性的宗教活动。

2. 如果人们饥饿到极点,任凭肠胃咕咕地狂叫也不吃东西,那只能说明一件事情:斋月来了。vicious: 邪恶的;growl: 咆哮。

3. holiest: (holy的最高级形式)最为神圣的;fast: v. 禁食;reflect on: 反思;spirituality: 精神,灵性。

4. devoutly: 虔诚地;recitation: 背诵;Quran: 《古兰经》,又译《可兰经》,作为伊斯兰教的根本经典,是教主穆罕默德在23年传教过程中陆续宣布的“安拉启示”汇集。该词为“宣读”,“诵读”之意,表示复述真主的话语。

5. purification: 净化。

6. self-sacrifice: 自我牺牲。

7. be obligated to: 有责任,有义务。

8. refrain from: 克制,忍住。

9. disrupt: 破坏,中断。

10. bothersome: 麻烦的,令人讨厌的。

11. rigorous: 严格的。

12. ascend: 爬; flight of stairs:楼梯的一段。

13. 在华氏85度潮湿的天气里,我每天要遛大概15只狗,一天三次,而且每次遛狗都要爬50个台阶。可想而知,我有多么口渴。humid: 潮湿的;degree Fahrenheit: 华氏温度。

14. run errand: 跑跑腿;brutal: 残忍的。

15. sniff: 闻;permeate: 渗透,弥漫。

16. 路过美食街时,我甚至可以听到熊猫快餐的烤架上炒饭或牛肉的嘶嘶声,面包店里喷香的肉桂和糖香让我不由地直流口水。sizzle: 嘶嘶声;grill: 烤架;Panda Express: 熊猫快餐,美国著名的中餐馆;cinnamon: 肉桂。

17. torturous: 折磨人的。

18. isle: 小岛,这里指一个个食品区;cracker: 咸饼干;cereal: 谷类食品;tempting: 吸引人的,有诱惑的。

19. 我把所有想要的东西都堆在购物车里,虽然这并非最好的选择——因为都是一些垃圾食品。stack: 堆积;craving: 渴望。

20. 此外,我有时会直接跳过农产品区,因为相比下一区那些带有软糖的成盒的咖啡冰淇淋和球形曲奇饼而言,这些东西看上去并不是那么吸引人。produce: 农产品;fudge: 软糖;cookie dough: 曲奇饼。

21. counter: 柜台;nourish: 提供营养。

22. dilemma: 困境。

23. epiphany: 对事物真谛的顿悟。

24. nap: 小睡。

25. eerie: 可怕的;stillness: 寂静。

26. catch sb. off guard: 让某人措手不及。

27. deck: (房屋的)露天平台。

28. garage: 车库。

29. hustle and bustle: 喧闹,熙熙攘攘。

(来源:英语学习杂志 编辑:祝兴媛)



















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