Get thee behind me

What kind of tourist travels 3000 miles only to be buttonholed by a Mormon missionary on a ferry where there is no escape?
Me. That’s who

A four hour journey from Gerik on two rickety buses that look like they’ve been used as a mobile caged fighting ring for a mistimed Celtic /rangers convention.

No air con. Quite frankly seats were something of a luxury

I pitch up in Butterworth which I can’t help thinking is an odd name for an Asian town.

The ferry to Penang is about 60p so all is well with the world.

Until I meet Brad. And his side kick Silent Charlie.

I spotted them getting on the ferry and I thought they looked odd.
Who the hell wears white shirts,collars and ties in this insane heat?

With ID badges clipped to their shirt pockets

And why, out of a thousand passengers did they pick on me?

Actually I partly know the answer to that one.

It’s because it’s illegal here to try and convert a Muslim.
Why can’t we have that in the UK?
Illegal to convert an atheist that is..
It would certainly prevent me from engaging Jehovah’s witnesses in friendly but pointless debate

I’d just call the cops and have them locked up.

“Hiya, where you from?” Says Brad as he sidles up to me at the railings

“You’re wasting your time ” was my not very gracious response

“I’m lost soul …if I didn’t feel the call in Jerusalem , Rome, on the road to Santiago or walking St. Paul’s and Abrahams trail, I’m hardly likely to find it here on a ferry with you .”

“You’d be surprised,” says Brad

“No I wouldn’t ”

So I so spent the next ten minutes railing against his views on homosexuality and blood transfusions and pre marital sex

Before I realised that was the Jehovah’s witnesses not Mormons

Ok I felt a but dim. But I was into my stride now ..

“How old are you Brad?”

“I’m 20,”

Silent Charlie turns out to be 21

“Kid, you should be making the most of your life out here .”

Says Brad:” well most of the people my age are just interested in girls and getting to the next party ..”

“Well yes, yes they are. Like most normal people should be. You guys are so worried about the next world that you’re missing all the fun in this one.”

“I am not worried about the next life I am excited about it.”

Remember….he’s 20

It was at this point Silent Charlie produced the Book of Mormon from his pocket and gave it to me.
I have it before me now

I told Brad that what he really needed was a few beers and a hot chick
But no matter what I said he just remained infuriatingly calm

“I bet you think you’re being tested dont t you ?” I said
” get the behind me Satan?”

He says:”anyone who knows Bible quotations like that is not lost.”

Thing is, he hasn’t even heard of the Camino de Santiago and -can you credit this ?- wasn’t interested in any of my (many ) fascinating anecdotes.

What kind of a missionary is that ?


4 thoughts on “Get thee behind me

  1. We are missing out on the Istanbul action and Turkish spring… Joncy from Ur Edessa guesthouse courtyard brekkir in Sanliurfa

    1. Yes mate I’m kicking myself. WS in Taksim square myself 2 weeks ago can’t believe it. Currently in Penang heading to Perentians then Thailand by train then Burma

  2. I was there when the protestors numbered 12 just a few days ago and had to evade pepper spray. rented an apartment on beyoglu about 50 metres from taksim square. awwww, missed it by 2 days!

    Try to get to Pai in the Sky in Thailand 3 hrs dolmus (hahah) minibus from chiangmai. Chiangmai a lovely city. Stay inside the fortifications.

    Lookin forward to your stories on the Gokteik Viaduct bridge in Burma and the ole british colonial town of Pyin Oo Lwin up in the Golden Triangle Shan Highlands (land of the opium poppies).

    Good karma good life.

  3. Try to visit Rasta Bar alongside the old fortifications wall in chiangmai. When i was there a few years back, Certainly the gem and sweet surprise of Chiangmai’s nightlife is Rasta Bar on the north side of the old city wall. This is where Chiangmai’s mod and ska scene meet. The dance Party starts to heave from 11pm-1am. Exceptionally-restored Lambrettas and Vespas are parked outside. The in-house band is smokin’. Local thai ska band doin corkin’ covers of The Beat & The Specials with Thai ska thrown into the mix. The crowd is purely local and is sociable and free-spirited. It’s legitimate local-flavour in all its youthful glory. #noyanks #nofarangs

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