Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Sins I've Committed...

Being an American, many of my neighbors just assume a lot of things about me.  Everything they see on TV from America they assume is true of me.  One day a neighbor asked me if  James and I were married.  I guess this particular woman thought that no Americans actually get married.  They all live in adultery.  Another time when I served a woman a glass of apple juice, she asked if I put beer in it.  Apparently she thought that I not only constantly drink alcohol myself (a sin in Islam), I was also trying to trick her into it. When people see my life they are usually pretty surprised that I'm not constantly having a wild house party, that I dress modestly, and that both of my children are also James' children.  I used to think that I was doing a pretty good job of living a "clean" life in my neighbors eyes but I've since come to realize that no matter how hard I try I just can't live up to their standards.  

One day I had an aquaintance named Elif over for tea.  Having tea doesn't just mean having tea.  It means you are drinking tea and eating a variety of sweet and savory treats alongside it.  On this particular day I was serving a biscuit type thing filled with cheese.  Elise was about a year and a half old at the time and she toddled over to me to take a bite of the biscuit on my plate.  A few crumbs fell to the floor as she toddled away.  Elif was suddenly out of her seat and kneeling at my feet.  I sat with a shocked look on my face while the woman carefully picked up the crumbs one by one muttering something about sin. 

Me: What are you doing?
Elif: I'm just so uncomfortable with the sight of bread crumbs on your floor.  I had to do something about it.
Me:  I don't understand.
Elif:  This is sin!  
Me: I don't understand.
Elif: You have breadcrumbs on your floor!
Me: I don't understand.   
(Are you seeing a theme here??  Obviously my language abilities weren't very good at the time.)
Elif:  If bread is on the floor someone might step on it.  And if someone steps on it that's really bad.  Really really bad.  It's a sin.  I just can't stand to look at bread crumbs on the floor.
Me: Oh.

After explaining to me the ins and outs of sinning through allowing bread to be on the floor or by accidently stepping on it, Elif lit a cigarette up  and proceeded to smoke it in my living room, beside my one and a half year old daughter, allowing some of the ashes to drop onto the carpet and not bothering to try to pick them up.

Me: I don't understand. 


TnT said...

this is HILARIOUS!!!! i love this story.

Abbie said...

Don't the birds eat the crumbs that fall on the ground. So actually you are sinning by not sharing the crumbs with the animals.

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