Thursday, October 29, 2009

Different Children

So we finally found the three miscreant boys who stole from me, and we told them to return it, or we will go to their house (another boy filled us in as to where they live), and if that doesn't work, then we will go to the police. Still trying grassroots up, but I'm seriously loosing interest.


I had a different sort of interaction with some neighborhood girls yesterday. While we were waiting for the boys to come return the thing with their tails between their legs (which they didn't of course), the doorbell rang. This time it was 5 young girls, between 12 and 5 years old.

They formed a benign semi-circle around me and waited for me to say something. We exchanged the normal greetings...pause.

"What are your names?" I asked

They told me. ...Pause.

"So, how old are all of you?" I kept going.

They told me...Pause. I'm not really sure what to say at this point. I used to think I was really good with kids, but the children here seems to totally throw me off my game.

"Uh, so the weather is really nice now, huh?" I commented. The old default of the weather didn't enthrall them.

Pause... They are still just standing there looking at me, not offering any conversation items.

The call to prayer sounded from the local mosque.

"So, do you speak any English?"

"No," they said. I'm out of conversation topics at this point.

"So, I'm making dinner (a lie) so maybe later, ok?"

"That's fine," the older one said. "We are going to go pray now anyways."

"Do you pray??" piped up the middle girl.

Awkward...given that one, I'm not Muslim and two, that I'm not religious at all really.

"Well, not like you," I offered innocently. Hey, I grew up Catholic and I still think there's lots of great elements to Christianity.

They just look confused at my statement.

"Well, you see, I'm not Muslim," I continued. Am I just digging myself into a hole here? Probably, but I don't want them to think that everyone they like is by default a Muslim, because all good people must be Mulism, right? This is a very common train of thought here.

"You're not?" she asked sort of accusingly.

"No, but there are lots of Muslims in America. But most people there are Christian though," I explained. Note here that in areas like where I live, trying to explain atheism, agnosticism, or even the existence of another religion outside of the big three does not go over well.

"So you're Christian, then?" She asked.


With that they all did a synchronized hair-pin turn and went out the gate.


Oh well...what else do they know to do?


ynotoman said...

Great you found the little thieves – and even better they are scared
Ah – so now you are on the gossip circuit ! and the girls are coming to see if its true. They probably have been told all sorts of stories by their family – did you know that (if you have) freckles – they are a sign you eat Pork (which is a deadly sin ) and so on.
Throwing in my baisa worth on the religion thingy – if really cornered (usually I say I don’t understand them and that cuts out a lot of hassle ) I let children know I am a Christian – and did they know Christians are in the Koran (usually they don’t) – and that we worship the same God.

Undercover Dragon said...


You could tell them Christianity is just as good as being a Muslim, God wise, but in addition you can eat bacon and drink booze.

Clare said...

yes, perhaps one of the great benefits of Christianity. :)