It’s never good to sit alone all day in a hotel room on a business trip and so I made a plan yesterday to get out and do something and knock a few errands off as well. And so it was that I rode up to Baton Rouge.
First stop: time to check out Southfin Southern Poke. For those of you not familiar, Poke bowls are a wonderfully delicious thing that seems to have originated in Hawaii (but looks a lot like hwe dup bap from Korea. The basic idea is this: take a base of rice, put some fresh vegetables on that along with lots of raw fish, maybe some scallions avocado and other seasonings along with some dressing. As long as you avoid some of the more mayonnaise-filled dressings, it’s a good healthy choice.
Once I was done with that, I headed over to the cinema. Surprisingly, as of late, there have been Indian movies playing in town here. A few trips ago I went to se Kabali which was great fun. This time, though, the only thing playing was Golmaal Again. I actually vetoed going to this film with Sage a few weeks ago having watched enough of a trailer to show me that this might even be worse than Doctor Cabbie was. I’m still traumatized by that one. But as I am really determined to get my Hindi practice in and listening and learning vocabulary is really important, I decided to bite the bullet. How bad could it be? I know a lot of folks really disliked Happy New Year saying that was silly as well and this is one of Sage’s and my favourite films.. So maybe it would be good.
The opening scene of the film was promising – maybe this was going to be ridiculous in a fun way.
But then the film went on and oh dear. The disclaimer at the start of the film essentially saying “No, we’re not really making fun of physically challenged people…really!” should have been a sign. Based on their portrayal of the two characters with speech impediments, or the mentally ill character prone to episodes of fugue state I tend to doubt the sincerity of the disclaimer. Also, I’m not sure if the connotations of the ghost costumes used in the film is the same in India but you’ll see those same costumes worn by participants in KKK rallies here. I’m guessing that was just a ‘lost in translation’ bit. The one shining light in the whole thing was the presence (in voice only) of Nana Patekar. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve seen him in and hope to see a bit more. It was the moments of hearing his voice seeing his character that made me stick it out as long as I managed to.
As much as I tried to persevere, I couldn’t manage it. I didn’t even make it to the interval. It’s the first movie I’ve walked out of since Napoleon Dynamite and now takes the coveted spot of worst film I’ve ever seen. And I’ve enjoyed a lot of Rifftrax and MST3K films in my life (Do watch those – though the movies are bad, the commentary is some of the best film entertainment you’ll find). This article does a much better job of articulating my feelings than I did though it sounds like the author there managed to sit through the whole thing.
I left a bit discouraged with my Hindi progress. It is so hard to build vocabulary. I did manage to get one new word and one word confirmed in that movie, though. I now know the difference between bhai (brother) and bai (maid) and have confirmed that hamesha means always. So now I can describe myself as hamesha bhuka. (Always hungry) Which leads me to my next move.
After I left I went over to pick up a few meals for the next few days. The little town I’m staying in hasn’t many healthy options and I’m trying to be especially healthy on this trip to get back in to racing – and hopefully half-marathon shape again.
After some bad film in the afternoon, Sage, Daegan, and I watched a couple more episodes of Stranger Things 2. This was tremendously fun. Sage isn’t enjoying it as much as the first one but I’m still having a great time with it. It may not be as great as the first series – or maybe I’m just getting used to the novelty – but it’s an interesting story. And I really love how well they’ve done on set design for 1984. Not all of the dialogue is quite right but for the most part it’s darned close. Hopefully we watch a couple more tonight though I bet they’re going to sleep early. Their test is at around 8AM and they’re waking at 6 to be sure to be there, awake, and fed in time.
After they went to bed I went over to Conversation Exchange to try to find a few more partners to practice my Hindi with. One can never have too many pen pals, after all. And sometime I’ll likely be able to do voice chat though it’s a bit of a challenge for a couple reasons. On the one hand I’m quite self conscious especially on the phone (but I’d better get over that if I intend to improve). On the more practical side, the time zone difference between here and India is pretty huge. If I want to catch someone in the afternoon there I’m going to be talking at 6AM or so (I barely speak English well at that point). If I want to catch someone in the morning in India it’s going to be about 8PM my time – which could work but likely interferes with their classes/work schedule so then they’re waking at 6:00 AM instead. I’m sure I’ll figure something out. I just need to immerse myself more. Maybe bite the bullet and declare an hour a day English free hour and just give my best shot at reading and watching things. I’ve found that Masterchef India is worth watching for the food (I love cooking so even understanding a little means I get to watch good food being made) and Kaun Banega Crorepati is fun to watch, not only because it’s hosted by one of my favourite actors in any language but also because his dramatic delivery means that he often speaks slowly and enunciates well. I’m sure I’ll get there, though. And maybe one of these days I’ll be sent there for work. In 2016 I was sent here in Louisiana for over 100 days. Imagine how much my language skills could improve with 100 days in India!