In which laughing at mad ideas yields diplomatic success

Today I got out of preaching in church. I did this by laughing at the idea like it was the daftest idea I’d ever heard (which it is) and declaring that I didn’t do preaching. I also had to agree to do a short testimony in its place (which I am practiced at getting by in). I didn’t mention that it probably wasn’t a good idea, in case I turned out to have ideas that they might consider heretical (well you never know, and this was about five minutes before I found myself having to slide my way out of a potentially deeply awkward conversation about creationism in the middle of the prehistoric Indus valley exhibit in the Mumbai museum).

This all seems to be a part of learning to negotiate the working trip that isn’t ever actually a holiday even though it occasionally masquerades as one while you’re on a boat trip to Elephanta Island, or admiring miniatures in the museum. You’re always potentially seconds away from a useful discussion about the event you’re actually here to sort out – or possible heresy revealing conversations about creationism / the ‘goodness’ of Christian politicians in the UK / the existence of heaven and hell.

In other news, today I saw people playing cricket on the dusty Oval Maidan in the late evening light and I’m trying not to be cross about not having got a photo of it because we were driving past having one of those no-Hannah-not-on-holiday conversions. Also because I have the image locked in my head, and that should be good enough. It was one of the most beautiful sights ever though – promise.

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