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?”
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.”
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 ?