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 Ä° know about that it took a long time for the Chosen People to get their act together to worship the great Ä° Am in monotheistic form. Ä° 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. Ä°nterfaÄ±th Dialogue cred wÄ±th 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. Ä° am TICKED.
So Ä° blew off todays tour to AphrodisÄ±as to avoid the on-and-off the bus drill, the being talked AT and asked patronizÄ±ng 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.
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!!