The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

The Disobedient

Surely there’s a lesson about human beings in relation to God when every visitor to the Virgin Mary’s House ignores the plentiful signs not to take photos. They are warned outside on large silver signs. At the door there are stencils of cameras surrounded by a red circle and a slash, inside signs are on an entry alcove and the main room in both English and Turkish. A majority of the visitors try it anyway, hoping to get away with it, breaking such a small and seemingly unimportant rule, and who could it harm? Even as their loved ones whisper about following the rules, usually even then people try. Sometimes they try it quietly, surreptitiously, a phone held at waist level or a look in the opposite direction.

There are two men on guard to remind them, every five seconds, “No pictures, it is forbidden.”

“It’s forbidden?” the offenders ask with various levels of faux surprise, guilt, or disquiet.

All the while, a sculpture of Mary waits on the altar, arms open and smiling, greeting her disobedient children as they pay her a thirty-second visit.

–Near Ephesus, Turkey.

Your rule-abiding author would like to note that photos are allowed outside. :)

Your rule-abiding author would like to note that photos are allowed outside. 🙂

Mary's House

9 comments on “The Disobedient

  1. Maccabros
    October 5, 2016

    True Words and wonderful pictures my dear Paige…♥…

    Liebe Grüße


  2. Darlene
    October 6, 2016

    I once took a picture of a wedding cake in Harrods and was sternly warned by a security guard. I have never broken that rule since.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      October 6, 2016

      It’s probably our personalities, my friend. I hate the idea of getting a stern warning! 😀

  3. Darlene
    October 6, 2016


  4. catherinemichaelblog
    October 6, 2016

    For some people, the idea of “getting away with something” when others haven’t is deeply entrenched. It’s the “I understand the rule for others but for me, no”. People who throw rubbish on the streets are of the same ilk 🙂

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      October 10, 2016

      Unfortunately, this is true. However, I usually take pity on those who are so lost. 🙂 It’s the only way to survive the deep pessimism that seems to be everywhere I turn. 🙂 I blog about the Nice Things not just for readers, but to remind myself as well!

  5. Jeff Walker
    October 11, 2016

    The excellent lesson you allude to aside, I am soooooooooooo jealous that you were able to visit Ephesus!

    Hmmmm…no. Not jealous. Envious? No…

    In awe, maybe? No, no…that’s not either.

    I’m very happy for YOU that you were able to visit this wonderful place my friend. 🙂

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      October 12, 2016

      Jeff, you should go someday. It’s such a peaceful place. I didn’t care for Ephesus as much as Mary’s House, but I think it is probably one of my favorite places in the world. I wish the Capuchins would let me volunteer there. I’d tell people not to take photos all day if I could stay… 🙂

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This entry was posted on October 5, 2016 by in Travel, Turkey.

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