Posted from Udaipur, India
One of the hardest parts of traveling through India with Lizzi is the fact that I can't touch her. I can't touch her in public, that is. In fact, any public display of affection can be considered offensive. I mean, I remember back in high school when they cracked down on PDA. But they were targeting the couples who had their tongues down each others' between English and chemistry classes. A couple simply holding hands while walking to class was still ok. But not so here.
Except that it can be ok. The younger generations are ok with it. We noticed the honeymooning couples in Munnar were all cuddly and dreamy-eyed. But as we worked our way back towards the coast and then north, couples drifted farther and farther apart. By the time we arrived in Delhi, most couples walked with several paces of distance between them. Except for the younger couples in the more affluent sections of the city.
Constantly there has been a struggle for me to appreciate and respect the culture we have the privilege to enjoy and maintain some sense of contact with Lizzi. What surprised me most is how much intimacy is generated and sustained simply by holding hands with the one you love. And that intimacy is even more noticeable when the source of that intimacy is suddenly disconnected. Not only are we hot and tired and edgy and guarded and alert and overwhelmed, but we are also missing one tiny piece of what connects us without words. Making any given day just a little harder.