Funny though, how the present differ from those days when I was a student. Being out in the sun was never a problem and didn’t have much effect on me. I could walk half of Seremban town and still had the energy to pay netball till late afternoon. In fact during my first year of studies in the States, fasting was observed during the hot summer days.
It was the summer of 1983, our first experience berpuasa di perantauan. Had mixed feelings actually and the “scary” fasting stories our seniors told us didn’t help much. The seniors told my friends and I that fasting was longer than back home. We wondered how it would feel fasting for more than 10 hours as Imsak was at 4.00 in the morning and iftaar was at 8.00pm. Fuhh….lamanya nak puasa tu, we thought to ourselves.
Then when we actually started fasting, it didn’t feel as bad as how it was put to us. Tak terasa pun the long hours of fasting. Of course we had classes to attend since most of us were enrolled in summer school and masing-masing pulak took like the most number of credit hours we could (which could be a killer to the CGPA if you just bummed around and played Frisbee all summer long).
My summer time routine was class from morning till midday. Then I’d rush home on my bicycle to catch my favourite soap, General Hospital on tv. Lepas tu gi library and bila dah selesai with the assignment baru lah balik apartment and terkial-kial fikir nak masak apa for berbuka. On days when classes were not so mind boggling, ABE (who masa tu baru nak men-tackle I) and I would walk to the University Square and go watch an afternoon matinee. Jalan kaki tu…pulang balik like almost 2-3 km. There were also times when we would lepak by the lake and fed the ducks. Punyer lah so free and easy nya life back then. It was study, lepak, makan and study lagi.
Ice cream...the biggest temptation during the fasting
The average temperature during summer days in Madison, Wisconsin was 36˚C and at times it even went to as high as 40˚C. It was hot and dry and if we were not determined at fasting, mau hanyut. Nak-nak bila tengok most of the folks around us were merrily slurping away. Hai sabar je lah….
I must say that was a very memorable summer for my friends and I. Not only we became closer as roommates and friends, through the ups and downs of the summer days, but also experienced the toughest will power in upholding our faith and worship towards God Almighty.