However, in recognition that our home country is not winning a lot of popularity contests in the Muslim world, we were resolved to try to behave respectably when the targets of religious information. Little did we know that the religion that we would hear about constantly would be Christianity. This seemed to be especially unfair to uninterested Christians. Did we still have to be polite?
Apparently Turkey (who knew?) was where much of Christianity began and the home of the first teachings and churches. The Virgin Mary made this her last address before she died. Huh? Many mosques were originally churches. Should we have paid more attention in our formative years which failed to form us very well? Apparently so. It was getting embarrassing being taught Christianity day after day by Muslims.
Somehow we got swept up in the whole thing and decided to go to Ephesus. Before going to Turkey B&B most likely, if asked on a quiz show, would have guessed that Ephesus was the name of a laxative. Now we were know-it-alls capable of casually dropping references to St. Paul speaking to the Ephesians as if this was the stuff of our normal day to day conversation.
This trip was prior to Blonde becoming a pauper. She was still Lady Bountiful so a private driver picked B&B up at our resort in Bodrum and drove, us in an air-conditioned Mercedes, to Ephesus. (For those of you who don’t know how to pick out key words they were private driver, resort and Mercedes in the prior sentence.) The mountainous three hour ride took us past olive trees, donkeys laden with baskets full of bottles of olive oil and small stands selling olive oil. Kind of like a long ride through an olive oil theme park. (Or so Brunette told Blonde who slept for the entire ride.)
As B&B had a flight to catch later in the day, our time in Ephesus was going to be brief. Our driver turned us over to a pre-arranged private guide. The guide spoke excellent English with the minor exception of pronouncing Vs as Ws so we had to avoid eye contact with each other every time he mentioned an “inwasion”. Unfortunately, for several reasons, there have been a lot of inwasions of Ephesus.
Our rigorous research staff (Blonde on Google) discovered how Ephesus’ location was chosen. The logic was eerily similar to the logic she has employed in her own real estate purchases. To wit:
“In the year of 10 BC, Androclos, the son of King of Athens-Kodros, was searching a location for establishing a site. Androclos belonged to Akhas, and was running from the Dor invasion in Greece. He was leading one of the migration convoys. It was predicted by an Apollon oracle that a fish and a boar would show the location of the new settlement. Days later, parallel to the oracle’s prediction, while frying, a fish fell down from the pan, irritating a hiding boar behind the bushes. The feared boar escaped immediately. Androclos followed the boar and established the city of Ephesus, where he had killed the boar.”
Well, yeah, duh!
Back to the educational Ephesus walkabout. Our guide speed-toured us to the major points of interest in Ephesus. Good Christians would have been fascinated by the amphitheater where St. Paul (just “Paul” in those days) spoke to the Ephesians. Apparently he made himself quite unpopular by saying that gods made by humans were not real gods. Due to his espoused opinions Paul was given an unrequested early check-out time by city officials. (Blonde knows what that’s like.)
B&B’s favorite topics tend to be some of the same things that 12 year old boys find hilarious. So we were very pleased when our guide, a polite fellow, showed us the men’s public latrines. He solemnly explained that musicians played continuously at the latrines to “cover the sounds of 75 men’s farts”. Then he promptly apologized for his language and said ” And now on to the whorehouse”. Excellent!
We were thrilled – farts and whorehouses, now we’re talking! It was thought-provoking to contemplate musicians, prior to amplifiers, who could generate as much volume as must have been needed to cover that much intestinal tooting. But B&B had to postpone that train of thought to admire the excellent city-planning of Ephesus.
Per our guide, the whorehouse was connected to the library by an underground tunnel. The men would tell their wives they were going to the library and then they would go to the whorehouse. (If Bill Clinton is reading this he must be so pissed that the architect who designed Ephesus didn’t also design the White House. Although who knows what tunnels may exist under the Clinton Library?)
After our long and educational day it was now time to stop farting around and get these two infidels to the airport. Cue the music!