We struggled to get to India. Because of a visa snafu, we had to go a week later than we had planned. But, in the end, we made it. And it was glorious, even if I did get food poisoning and had to spend an afternoon on the hotel bathroom floor.
When we got back, a few of my coworkers asked what my favorite moment or thing had been. I hadn't been asked that since I was a kid and I struggled to think of my answer. I'm terrible at those questions. Ask me what my favorite book or movie is and I freeze up like you've asked me to choose a favorite bodily organ. I can't narrow things down.
But I think I've got it.
We went to a Bollywood film showing at an old, grindhouse style cinema. We bought 50 cent (US) tickets and 30 cent Fantas and headed into the theater. The movie had already begun (it seemed you could enter the movie for the first 20 minutes or so), so it was pitch black. We found two seats against the back wall. The seats were just wooden chairs, more like what you'd find on a patio than a theater these days. There was no A/C, but it was surprisingly cool, thanks to about twenty-five ceiling fans. A few people entered after us, each of them using their phone lights to find a seat. We moved over to make to easier for anyone else coming in late. A man in front of our new seats couldn't keep his head up and eventually let it fall back with a snap. He snored. I asked Ian if he thought he was drunk (it was midday) or just very tired. Neither of us were sure. As far as I could tell, I was the only woman in the theater, though I only saw five or so of the rows. Occasionally, a man would noisily hawk snacks from the side aisles. No one seemed to mind, but no one seemed to buy, either. We didn't stay for the whole film, as it was in Hindi with no subtitles. I can't speak to what it was about. Two men, brothers maybe, one of them better than the other, but neither good. We left and walked down the street. It was lined with increasingly disreputable cinemas. Soon, there were women standing around in doorways. One of the ladies pinched my arm as I walked by. We had found ourselves in a red light district. The change was subtle, but somehow also remarkable. So, we carried on and headed elsewhere.
Ian is coming to work at my company at the end of this month. They still have to figure out his visa, since his is through another company. But, so long as everything works out, we'll be living together in a few weeks! I'll be writing more about this in the coming days.