Our Friday routines very rarely vary. We actually have two routines, one when the whole family is together and one when it is split up and half of us are here and half in Abu Dhabi.
When the whole family is together it is usually in UAE. Friday mornings start a bit slowly, everyone sleeps in. Maybe one of us women will get up early and start the lunch cooking then go back to sleep. Around 11:30 or 12:00 everyone is up, but we don’t usually eat breakfast. Usually everyone just has a cup of chai, and some toast with jam or some biscuits, for the kids.
Because it is Friday, everybody has to shower and wear nice clothes (if we have new suits we save them and wear for the first time on Friday). While the chai is boiling there is a mad rush to use the iron, with everyone complaining that the person ahead of them is moving too slowly. :-)
Unfortunately our house in Abu Dhabi has only one bathroom, for a family of 11. I really don’t get that, I mean it is a three bedroom house, why only one bathroom? Anyway, just after chai, and the ironing session, the bathroom line forms, first my father in laws has his turn. After FIL is finished then all bets are off and it is every man/woman for themselves. If it’s winter time, then at some point in the line a small argument will break out as someone has taken an extra long shower, used up all the hot water and now everybody after them has to take a freezing cold shower. The one who used all the hot water will be in mild disgrace for the rest of the day.
After all the chai/ironing/showers, the men leave for Jumah at the masjid. Sometimes some of us women will go, as in Abu Dhabi most of the masjids have a women’s section. Recently the men started taking the kids too(my brother in law has two sons), now that they are old enough to sit quietly or imitate their father rather than cry and disturb everyone else.
After everybody gets back from Jumah we all sit down to a big family lunch. Usually we eat simpler foods during the week like aloo gosht(like meat and potato soup), or dals(lentils), and vegetable salaans(curries). On Fridays we have fancier foods like biriyani(spicy rice and meat), or nihari. After a big heavy lunch, almost everybody goes for a nap(except for me, I can’t sleep in the day), then sometimes we’ll go out somewhere, shopping or to one of the many garden parks in Abu Dhabi.
In Pakistan the routine is a bit different, as there is only Tariq, one of his sisters, Saad and I. There are also five bathrooms instead of one. :-) I get up around 9:30 or 10:00 on Fridays, read some Qur’an, iron Tariq’s, Saad’s and my own clothes, then shower and change. Then I start breakfast, when that is almost ready I go wake up Saad, Tariq and my Sister in law. I give the baby his bath and put him in his shalwar kameez.
After a quick breaskfast Saad and Tariq leave for Jumah. I never get to go as in our area there is no space for women. :-( At first when Saad started to go to Jumah with Tariq and his Dada(Saad’s paternal grandfather, not Tariq’s, who was in Pakistan for time off from his job in Abu Dhabi), he was afraid and didn’t really want to go. Dada convinced Saad to go by bribing him with the promise of a juice box on the way home.
When Saad got back the first time he was so proud, he told me “Mama, Saad give money to Allah(swt).” Now his favorite thing about Jumah is that daddy will give him money to keep in his pocket before they go, for him to donate to the masjid.
After they get back we sit down to a family lunch, then hang around the house the rest of the day. Occasionally we’ll go to visit one of Tariq’s married sisters in the evening.