Goody Two Shoes Has a Mind Blowing Breakfast
I joined my husband on a short break overseas. He was a speaker at an interfaith conference; I was a hanger-on.
One of my “hanging on” duties was eating breakfast with the other speakers.
The breakfast room was beautiful and the table set elegantly. The sun was shining in through the clean windows and as I sat down, I thought to myself, “I could get used to this.” However, this was all about to change.
Of the seven speakers, only four sat at our table. Kosher dietary laws resulted in the rabbi and orthodox Jewish participants being excluded from sitting with us.
The Sheik didn't make it to breakfast as he was stuck in Jordan, in need of a transit visa.
One lady that came with her own tin of tuna and banana flitted back and forth from our table to the next. Another man made a big performance (in my eyes) of reading all the ingredients written on the bread packet and wanted to know if the cheese was kosher. Not convinced, he went to bring his own bread from his room.
I forgot who I was with (somehow!?!?) and said I would eat anything they had, and so was served two slices of bacon, which I tried to hide under a piece of bread.
The Muslim speaker didn't bat an eyelid as I apologised. My husband tried to bluff it off by saying how we should all feel free to be ourselves whilst giving me knife looks.
And on it went, like a microcosm of Israel and Palestine eating breakfast together.
I left the breakfast room quite annoyed. One brush with people from Israel/Palestine and my holiday peace was shattered.
However, the next morning it got worse in an unexpected turn.
In one of the meeting sessions, the ultra-orthodox lady suggested my husband was an alien and stranger in Israel but she was willing to be benevolent towards him and his people, whereupon he answered her strongly and to the point that he was not an alien in the land in which he had been born. The room erupted with shouts, claps and opinions.
At breakfast the next day, they were discussing this. This time I declined the bacon but had double eggs, not to feel outdone. The conversation had become politely aggressive and I was deciding whether to have a piece of fruit when, out of the kitchen charged the breakfast server/housekeeper! She interrupted the conversation about aliens and strangers to declare she was a Christadelphian (which I instantly googled and explained to my husband and politely aggressive arguer). For a moment, we were all stunned at the forceful nature of the evangelism and unstoppable flow of words meant to persuade us to convert to Christadelphianism.
We instantly joined forces-me, my husband (still refusing to be an alien) and the ultra-orthodox settler. We made a strong team against the attack, closing ranks by giving each other “the look.”
After exiting the breakfast room and congratulating myself on surviving the evangelism attack and dealing with bewildering feelings of fury along with disbelief, I came to the conclusion that strange people live everywhere...but get me OUT of here as soon as possible.
Will I join my husband again? One thing I learned is it's not always worth it to “wake up and smell the bacon.”
Observation: How quickly my husband, myself and the ultra-orthodox settler lady joined forces against what seemed a common enemy and greater threat.