Before I inadvertently arrived on the rock, I was living in a predominately Muslim country in Central Asia. I say Muslim, but it was really Muslim with a Soviet twist. This can best be explained by the fact that the men would diligently attend Friday afternoon prayers, then stand around in their Lada’s drinking shots of the purest vodka. In my mind, this is a fine example of evolution. As a blonde Caucasian, the most frequently asked questions (or accusations) of me were:
Are you American?
Answer: No fucking way! (in future, to be abbreviated as NFW)
Are you Catholic?
Although I’m European, I have never lived in an overtly Christian country. This all changed when I arrived on the rock. Jesus…they love him, he’s the man. They are on their knees every night of the week. Methodists, Baptists, 7th Day Adventists, you name it, they’re here. I have absolutely no idea what the difference is between these sects. Nevertheless, it came as quite a shock when I was asked in my first week if I was Methodist or Muslim. Quite possibly the most bizarre question I have ever been asked. I responded that I was “nothing”. This resulted in a long silence then the usual follow-up interrogation questions. In hindsight, I wish I would have just said Muslim. It would certainly have resulted in a more interesting interrogation, or at the very least, a longer silence.
I don’t have anything against religion but if I’m pushed to believe in something, I have always leaned towards Father Christmas / Santa Claus. Fact: he does not exist, but the mythology or ideology of him certainly seems to bring more joy to the world than most other Christian sects. Did Father Christmas ever start a war? Not to my knowledge. Does he make children behave? Yes. See? Win-win.
Sadly, despite the high number of people over here claiming to follow the Christian creed, there still seem to be the same number of arseholes per square meter as anywhere else in the world. This statistic excludes tourists who, 95% of the time, are, in my misanthropic British opinion, Grade A arseholes, which definitely differs from your everyday arsehole.