We learned about Mennonites and Amish and the difference between the two. 'Twas interesting. Apparently the Amish are having trouble with acquiring good farmland for their children, which is not too surprising considering they double their population every twenty years. Other interesting facts include the way they get around their own restrictions, which are almost Jewish in their convolutedness. For example, nothing that serves no purpose may be hung on the wall of an Amish home, so paintings aren't allowed, but since calenders do
have a purpose . . .
Also, they speak a Germanic dialect. I mean, really speak it. English is a second language, used for talking to "Englishmen," which is what they call non-Amish. But all the prayer books and the version of the Bible they use are in German, so they learn that along with English, starting in first grade. We asked about Yiddish, which is a German-Hebrew creole, and the tour guide said listening to it, it's about as close to their everyday dialect as German is. Spoken slowly, he could actually understand it. So there are more parallels with the black hatters (the incredibly orthodox orthodox Jews, with the sideburns, that you think of when you think of Jews) then I previously knew.
There was a life-size replica of the Mishkan, what those of you who don't speak the crazy demented language determined to make you swallow your own tongue that is Hebrew, would call the Tabernacle. I was actually quite impressed with how tacky the Judeo-Christian god seems to be. You don't have to plate the entire
thing with gold and precious jewels for it to be impressive, and really silver does much
more if your goal is beauty . . . And Dad did make a horrible joke, when we went into the Holy of Holies to see the (tackily gold spray-painted) Ark about how there was no theme music.
The tour guide was very impressed when my entire family started repeating the old prayers back to him in ancient Hebrew; this isn't hard, since my parents have been blessing me with that exact prayer every Friday night for as long as I can remember. He was shocked when I started chanting the Bible in Hebrew. (Here's a secret: The Torah reading I did for my Bat Mitzvah was the first seven days of existence.) They had some nice-smelling incense, which included both frankincense and myrrh. Interestingly, it smelled just like the stuff they were swinging around in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem; so traditional Catholic incense is the Real Deal.
Then we went shopping at an outlet mall. It bothers me that there are no sandals made entirely of leather. Either the soles or the strappy bits are suede, and since I tend to do things like drop my sandals in rivers . . . and oceans . . . And my old sandals are pretty much worn through, too. Le sigh.
Still being driven insane by not being able to find that story.
Tomorrow we shall visit a pretzel factory to learn how those are made and then hop on along to Allentown and go to science museum. Because we are (with the possible exception of MW) science-type people.
And now for a bit of crack, written for coldfiredragon
's Cliche Ficathon
Title: That's Normal
Warnings: MPreg, kindof. Crack science. A complete and utter disregard for certain bits of canon, and also massively warped biology.( Pregnant Superman Under Here )
Once again, please comment to my inner comment-whore.