Diary

Kike Conk

01 December 2007 | Diary

This blog is arguably at its best when dwelling on the minutiae of modern life or on paranoid trains of thought with terminals in the twin towns of fetish and phobia. It is not, of course, a travelogue. Travel is a big idea. Here, we are interested in the small and the petty.

On the other hand, I do like to advertise the fact whenever I go abroad and to show off whatever shit photographs I may have taken while there. So let’s just get this over with. Have a look at my Rome photographs:

The trip was not without anecdote though. While in the Vatican Museum, an Italian man approaches me.

Shalom!” he puffs, pleased with himself. “Shalom! You are here?!”

He thinks I am an Orthodox Jew and that my presence in the Vatican is a funny thing.

I suppose it is. It’s certainly unusual: I’ve not seen anyone of a non-Caucasian persuasion here today. No turbans or yarmulke or burqa in sight. I wonder if the Swiss guard weed them out in the ticket line. It seems unreasonable to suggest that the Vatican is a purely Catholic attraction and I find it odd that its such a honky fest today. Surely the opulence of the place would attract tourists and art lovers from all over the world.

I secretly enjoy being mistaken for an Orthodox Jew. As an atheist it makes me feel like a wolf in a sheep’s Sunday best (or in my case ‘Saturday’ best – let’s not get our sabbaths in a twist).

It’s true that my mother’s Yiddish DNA puts up a good fight with my father’s gentile genes and that this is represented in my flowing locks and massive Kike Conk. It’s also true that I am wearing my black trilby hat, which inevitably sets fire to any Jewishness I may happen to bring along.

Not wanting to create an awkward situation by correcting him, I see his Shalom and raise him an aleichem.



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