My Thanksgiving was spent en route in Bangalore, traveling via train from Trivandrum to Hampi. The twelve hour stopover in Bangalore was as memorable as fornication between a porcupine and a cat. I left the group I'd traveled with to convene with a Dane and German that I'd wandered with in the north. As I rambled around the streets alone, I envisioned my twenty-five relatives congregating around a candlelit wine-splashed dinner of roast turkey, succulent stuffing, cranberry sauce, cornbread, and pumpkin pie. I could almost detect the wafts of spices. I love American traditions, like Thanksgiving dinner, and fathers chasing their kids around with power tools.
As I paid for a Limca soda, an Indian man in line behind me crouched around my feet. I looked down to see if I had developed elephantitis in the past four seconds.
"Ummm, excuse me? What are you doing?" I asked.
"You're only wearing one anklet? Where's your other anklet?" he asked, still groveling. I felt like the offspring of an ogre and a giantess.
"I only ever had one anklet," I replied.
"Only prostitutes wear one anklet," he informed me.
I had been wearing one anklet for two months.
Three hours later I sat on the sidewalk reading outside the train station. A man wearing Joseph's colorful robes shambled towards me. He carried two sticks in arms that looked like they had been compressed by a ThighMaster. His bloodshot and wandering eyes bucked into mine as he asked me for a cigarette. I - truthfully - told him that I didn't have any. He bellowed in Hindi and shook his sticks at me, cursing me like I had just crossed the path of a black cat, broken a mirror, and walked under a ladder.