It’s all too easy to poke fun at an institution, especially one like the church; and it’s all too easy to lapse into sneering at the people involved. I hope I never do that. To redress the balance a bit here’s a true tale of a mishap on my recent holiday in South East Asia.
We pitched the tent in the dark as the Thai National Park had just shut. The departing staff pointed out a suitably flat site to us and left us to our own devices. We slept well by the side of a river which had several ponds suitable for paddling and swimming. We weren’t far from the visitors’ centre and the car park, and the noise of the earliest arrivals woke my partner the following morning. I had driven a couple of hundred km the day before and was too tired to get up when she did.
At last I was ready to get out of my sleeping bag. Dressing was awkward as our tent was so small, and I inadvertently had my bare backside stuck out of the tent door when I heard a yell from my partner: “Cover up, there are people around!” Turning around hastily, I peered out through the mosquito net door to see a procession of Islamic Imams walking up from the carpark all happily snapping the views with their mobile phones. Boy, was I embarrassed! They had come for a relaxing day out together and the last thing they wanted to see was some white tourist’s bare bum.
Sorry, guys, I didn’t moon you deliberately!