What A Turkey

This morning over breakfast, my tour director, Mr. Interfaith Understanding, argued with me in the most hostile and contemptuous way that Judaism is NOT the first great monotheistic religion because the Israelites were not monotheists, and what Moses was doing was not Judaism.

Yea, dude. Whatever. I went to Div School at Harvard too and İ know about that it took a long time for the Chosen People to get their act together to worship the great İ Am in monotheistic form. İ even get that what we know as Jewish religion today bears little resemblance to what was going on in Palestine 3-4,000 years ago. But tell me that you dont care that its offensive to Jews to deny that theirs is the first monotheistic religion and youve totally lost your Mr. İnterfaıth Dialogue cred wıth me. This dude has BENT OVER BACKWARDS to seem open and respectful with everyone on this tour but me, who have been treated to a steady stream of snark and defensiveness since I showed up. İ am TICKED.

So Ä° blew off todays tour to Aphrodisıas to avoid the on-and-off the bus drill, the being talked AT and asked patronizıng questions (the sort that can be answered with one correct answer — Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?) and worst of all, being looked at like a Huge Weirdie when Ä° request some SÄ°LENT time to just BE at these sights. This tour is billed as a pilgrimage and there aint no pilgrimage about it. What Ä° have managed to get in terms of communion with the spirit of the land, people and gods here, Ä° have had to steal from our frenetic itinerary.

(At the Hagıa Sofia in İstanbul)

There. Ä° just needed to rant a bit. Ä°t is a glorius country and Ä°m loving being here — Ä°m just disappointed that this group that promotes itself as a really different tour experience is so exactly what Ä° have experienced in typical tours –only with less free time and shopping.

We want you to interact with the people and the place says our tour director. Guess what, hon? Although its commercial and corrupt,um SHOPPÄ°NG is actually a great way to do that.

A few more days and Ä° will be on my own in Greece.

Kiss of peace!!

9 Replies to “What A Turkey”

  1. That’s my PeaceBang! I know you’ll have the best day ever. Joy and Peace – C

  2. Love the writing. Love the pictures. Is that Mr. I-D in the Hagia shot? Do they speak snark in Turkey?
    L, J

  3. You look fabulous, he is a jerk, Turkey is a gorgeous country, and, as usual, you are standing your ground. (In a manner of speaking, given that you are on tour.) Miss Maya Pavlova, who is sitting here by the computer, says “purrrrrrrrrr” and “yay PeaceBang” and “stoopid guy.”

  4. Can I gently say that the bilingual turkish/english speaking people I know would be offended by the title of your post?

    The expression “what a Turkey” obviously refers to the bird, and its a PUN! But if anyone is offended, please see my many glowing comments about the country of Turkey for my feelings about it. – PB

  5. As someone who’s been considering a trip to Greece and/or Turkey and has been looking for a tour that fits your description (pilgrimage, religion-oriented, focused on learning), I’d love to know what tour you’re on so that I can look elsewhere. Thanks!

  6. For your next trip, I recommend Rick Steves tours. You will get a lot of free time and just “be” time to mix with the locals if you choose.

  7. Have you seen the movie “My Life in Ruins” with Nia Vardalos from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”?
    It’s a light, fun movie (I just watched it on an airplane)…and it would really resonate given your recent tour experience!

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