Posted from Alleppey, Kerala, India
Q: What about the strangest person you've met?
A: I think it's important that both Lizzi and I take a stab at this one, because I think we'd have different answers. Luckily, I met my strangest person yesterday on the bus from Kumily to Alleppey. He was a middle-aged Indian man, who sat in the seat directly behind us and immediately started up a conversation. As soon as he opened his mouth, the rank smell of liquor washed over both of us. I knew this wasn't going anywhere good.
The conversation started pleasantly enough, the same as any other conversation we have had in India: "What country are you from? How long have you been here? What do you think of [insert name of town/city/state/country]? Where are you going next? What is your job?" Next, there was a brief quiz about whether we were Christian or not, which is NOT a conversation we expected to have in India. Then came a whole dissertation on the virtues of Kerala people. Somewhere in the middle of his rambling Lizzi had decided that I was going to take one for the team, and politely readjusted her seat to look straight ahead. But as he wrapped up, he posed a final question to us: "You know what the worst problem in Kerala today is?"
I could think of any number of responses, but clearly, it was a rhetorical question. I waited a beat, and he filled in his answer, "sexual anarchy." Yep, that's right, folks, the problem facing Kerala today is sexual anarchy. From here, the conversation could only go one direction -- downhill...and fast. Thankfully, we weren't disappointed. "Kerala has gone to the deviants," he exclaimed. "They are morally wrong," he continued, politely adding, "not like you." Of course not. And so it went until we arrived in a small town outside of Alleppey, where he got off the bus, and we breathed a collective sigh of relief.