Fasting and My IQ


When I was kid , one of the most popular cartoons showing on TV was “Popeye the Sailor Man” It told a story of  a sailor who was weak and defeated until he had his spinach. When he had his spinach he made wonders happen. One mouthful of spinach was enough for him to make his muscles expand to at least three times their size enabling him to fight anyone at anytime. He also gained ability to win the woman of his dreams and his life suddenly became better all because of that mouthful of spinach. Now that I am an adult with supposedly a better understanding of how the world works,  I really think that Popeye was fasting and I think that he broke his fast by eating a can of spinach, because I know now that eating and drinking can make you think straight. Thanks to  the arrival of Ramadan and the severe fall in my IQ which i feel during the day, I confirm this theory .

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t get big muscles simply by eating anything nor do I suddenly gain the capacity to win the man of my dreams. If only that were true, but then again I’m a person not an animated cartoon.  However, Popeye does remind me of myself and my relationship to caffeine during Ramadan.  You see, throughout this holy month  I have the IQ of a cabbage during the day. Numbers mean nothing to me but that is my life story. However in Ramadan letters mean nothing to me either. Anything I write while I’m fasting is only a rough draft to be re-visited when I have my caffeine in the evening.

It is as if that first sip of coffee suddenly makes the world a better place. I re-read everything I had worked on while fasting only wonder to myself “how could I have possibly written that ?” To my good fortune  everything slows down in Ramadan. Most people seem to be operating at a lower IQ accompanied by a slower pace. So, I realized that my low IQ blends in perfectly with the world during Ramadan. For example, when I went to the bank today  to pay for a visa application the issue took me three hours instead of half an hour. Lines were moving slower than usual, the bank teller was operating at a snail pace, and all communication lines were cut as no one seemed to understand anyone else.

In my state of limited IQ I didn’t even have the energy to get upset about the delay. Instead,  I stood in line and waited amongst the masses. Drivers were also of a limited IQ in the streets of Amman, as they seemed to believe that honking their cars would make the traffic jam miraculously disappear. In the office things were quite slow for me too, as I couldn’t master writing three or four paragraphs that were remotely presentable to hand in, so of course I delayed doing that until I got the shot of caffeine I needed into my system in the evening.

By the time I got home at four , I picked up a story to read but the next thing I knew was that I was listening to music instead. I know my IQ hits an all time low during Ramadan to the point where I find myself genuinely interested in the Kardashians. On normal days I would switch to another channel but when I’m fasting that is all that my brain cells can handle. After all, their family dramas are easy to keep up with.

I guess this is a month where we are allowed to drop our IQ. So for the next 27 days I am exercising my right to be slow.

During the day, that is.

Happy Ramadan to you all

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