His Holiness The Dalai Lama was speaking at Conseco Fieldhouse today, and my sister-in-law and I had tickets. Since parking in downtown Indianapolis is either expensive or non-existant, we parked her car at my apartment, then caught the IndyGo (bus) to Conseco. After the lecture was over, we walked back to the bus stop and caught the bus back to my apartment.
Regardless of one's religious beliefs, opportunities to hear someone like that don't come along often, and I like listening to views outside of my own religious tradition (Christian). Apparently many people feel the same way, because there was a good sized crowd in that area. The bus driver asked us if something was going on downtown, and I explained that the Dalai Lama had spoke.
"You mean that gay fruitcake from China?" the driver yelled in response.
I was stunned because--well, that's a new height of ignorance. I honestly had no idea what to say. After a few seconds my brain tried to think of a way to respond, but it also figured that it would be a waste of time. My sister-in-law was clearly angry--she's 8 months pregnant and looked ready to have the baby due to the shock of hearing that.
Ironically, during his talk the Dalai Lama encouraged us to respect all religious views equally--even those with no religious views. While I do not believe in reincarnation, I couldn't help but wonder if that driver was going to come back as a flaming gay Asian man.
Man, I'd hate to be taking customer complaints for IndyGo today...