I am not religious. And living here, I tend to forget about Christianity, since Islam is obviously the more prominent religion. But there are obviously some Christians here too. One of my co-workers said to me yesterday, “I just want to go home and eat pancakes.”
My response was, “What?”
“Lent starts tomorrow!” she said.
“Oh… you mean, like for Fat Tuesday?”
“You don’t eat pancakes?”
“No, not necessarily…”
And the conversation sort of tapered off. She just assumed that I was Christian and would be eating pancakes. Because she’s Irish and that’s what they do and the Irish people here tend to just assume the entire world does everything they do. (I’m not exaggerating. But that is a post for another day perhaps.) But I’m not actually all that religious and never went to church, so Fat Tuesday isn’t really a thing for me. And I would call it Fat Tuesday, never Pancake Day.
Then today another teacher brought up Lent. And to be conversational, I asked, “What’re you giving up?” Because I’m also ethnocentric and assume that is the normal thing to do. You pretend to give something up, like chocolate or gossiping or whatever stupid inconsequential thing you think you could live without, and then you give it up for like… half a day. And then you forget it’s even Lent.
“We’re doing a Bible study.”
And she was all sorts of serious about it. And I realized that I know nothing about anyone I work with. Who knew they were all secretly religious and/or pancake lovers?