We have finally been released from the JC. Yesterday we went to the Garden Tomb, one of the proposed locations of the Savior's burial. Today I got a chance to wander through the markets in the Old City. It was the funniest experience... never have I been so glad to be a Mormon!
The Mormon kids are well liked and well known. We are consistently polite, friendly, honest, and most importantly- spendy. Plus there's a new group of us every four months to buy the same chintzy crap as the last group. The shopkeepers know all this, and love us for it.
Walking through the markets in the Old City was amazing, because at every shop we were recognized as Mormon and treated very well. Everyone wanted us to have their business card, everyone wanted us to shop at their stand, and everyone was willing to offer us a special deal. Us, their dear Mormon friends.
I don't think anyone actually knows what Mormons are or what the term means, but they know it's an identifier. As we walked by one stand the owner looked at us and asked "Chinese?" We laughed and kept walking.
"No, seriously." (Insert a contemplative pause) "Mormon?" I turned around and nodded my head at him, and he just smiled and said "Ahh, Mormon!"
I've never had so much fun shopping. We walked approximately seven miles today (thanks to my roommate who would rather map our path than study), shared approximately three sketchy pastries, and visited approximately two thousand shops. I came home and about collapsed. I will definitely come home a leaner, meaner, well cultured machine(r) in four months time. Provo, look out.