I think it's the not knowing. Those of us who have not been in the UAE during the holy month, which seems as though it will start on Sunday, depending on the moon, have no idea what to expect from this daily fasting thing.
This pretty much counts about 90 per cent of the office. There have been lots of articles about it - for example, food courts will mostly be closed, mosques will be open to give non-Muslims tours - and one ridiculous office email exchange that degenerated into a back-and-forth on whether people will be allowed to chew gum. (I hope not; chewing gum is obnoxious. I am also hoping people won't be allowed to jingle their change in their pockets obsessively, and have ridiculous mobile phone ring tones. I am not sure either have anything to do with Ramadan)
I am excited about the nightly Iftar buffets - those lavish settings that break the fast. Can I just wander in to one and sidle up, I wonder? Anyway, best I can figure, we won't be downing tea and coffee at our desks and we'll have to go to a private room to eat our lunches. I won't sip on an iced latte while hailing a taxi, or slip out to the Egyptian shop down the road for a falafel. I certainly won't stand up and yell "anyone want to order from Tandoori Corner?" Nor will I be able to obsessively consume water at my desk. Here is where I bring up the camel pack. As a person who 10 years ago read an article about the need to drink 8 glasses of water a day and proceeded to create an abnormal need for a constant flow of H20 in myself, I am a tad nervous about the water thing.
As for not knowing what is to come, well, do we ever? As for all the dire warnings, I had loads of those before I got to Abu Dhabi and almost none of them have come true. Sure, I see crazy, head-shaking sights every day. But none of them I was prepared for. And that's half the fun.
Updates to follow.