You can say this is just a tram conversation when you happened to be waiting for a tram for quite some time (trams’ frequency is usually once in 4 mins), say 30 minutes (something must’ve happened), someone walked to and fro around you, and when the tram came, you jumped in the tram, and finally got a place to sit, and happened to be in front of him, and then he thought he had the reason to greet you with, “Oh there you are, I was looking for you, I thought you were not in this tram, and I thought that was weird…” And it just went casually as a stranger-to-a-stranger short conversation.
It started with a standard question of where I came from, to his comments on Islam, to his opinion that Indonesians’ ancestors might came from Greece since some Indonesian language derived from Greek (and one second I tried to recall whether Yunan meant Yunani), and my struggle to rebuttle (weleh bosone) but vaguely heard since the tram was so crowded. And there it went, I gave up debating him, and decided to just listen to what he had to say. I nodded and asked the hopefully right questions, and hold my tongue not to further defend my own religion in front of so many people who might eavedrop our convo.
I rolled my eyes at some of his sayings, and at some points felt bad for doing so, but then I did it again, but he continued anyway, saying things about what in the end I found out to be his belief. He even showed me symbols, numbers, and scratched a paper to show other languages for the word ‘zeus.’ I wanted to glance at the woman sitting next to me, to find out whether our convo disturbed her and use it as a reason to stop the oh-so-deep topic, but I held myself.
The tram convo ended when he had to drop before I did, but he added some points until a short lady (litterally half the height of this middle-age man) asked an excuse to be given a way, and he was drifted to the door and disappeared.
I stared at the tram’s window and tried hard to remember what he said. I remembered the silver crucifixion necklace hanging on his chest behind the black suit, and that his English was no better than mine.
All I could remember was that Islam was labeled as a religion exalting the moon, and that I failed uttering the fact that at least his views on Islam might be wrong. But then I felt better recalling that I managed to ask whom he believe, and what his religion was called. I also realized just today in the tram that an orthodox believes in Zeus instead of Jesus, but I might misunderstand his English, that he (and/or his religion) might believe that Jesus is Zeus. I also concluded that he approached me in the first place for the headcover I wore. And as my friend ever said that people believing in certain religion will have a better and longer discussion when talking to each other compared to when an atheist meets a religion believer.
At the end of the day I am grateful for what I believe. I still feel bad for the fear that I might not representing my religion well, but at least I got the chance to listen to someone about something new for me and that would not have happened if I acted differently. So I am also grateful for what happened today.
Oh, by the way, the tram I used today was a bullet-shaped tram, different and fancier than what I see and use daily. 🙂