We decided to celebrate the 4th of July even though we are somewhat constrained by Ramadan, a scarcity of compatriots, and general new-around-here-ness. It’s illegal to eat, drink, or smoke in public during daylight hours, and you cannot purchase alcohol anywhere at all. We did stock up before Ramadan started, but we were not in party planning mode then. We also don’t have a house yet, and our balcony is too small for grilling. And our grill is in a shipping container somewhere with the rest of our stuff anyway.
So we waited until sundown and went to the club where there are grills on the beach. They look like this in daylight. Very pretty, but the sun is super hot, so waiting until dark was probably not a bad idea anyway. It doesn’t photograph well at night, but for posterity… Only one of our guests was American, but they were all good sports. And the beach was empty so we could have our music and discreet cocktails without bothering anyone.
It was actually pretty fun, but now that I’ve written all that out, I’m trying to remember why it seemed important that we mark the occasion. I think it was mostly an excuse to make my annual flag cake. This year’s cake was subpar. I used canned whipped cream (I have a lot of excuses, but none of them are legitimate) and then it ran out super quickly. You can see that the cookies have NICE stamped on them, which is kind of funny.
I was surprised the berries were even available. The guy who’s been living here longest took one look at the cake and said “That’s gotta be like 10 rials in berries” and when I mentally tallied it up, he was correct. That’s well over $20, for reference. Such is my devotion to flag cake (or maybe I did the math wrong in the store). If I were to do it again I would use something else because I had to throw out a lot of moldy ones and the rest were kind of sour.
There’s always next year.