So after the huge lunch on Friday, I met Naitra and decided to make a quick trip to Jew town, located on the other side of the island from Ft. Cochin, about a 30-40 minute walk. The lonely planet guide said that the synagogue was open on Friday. I should have known better and arrived to find a sign that said open Sun-Thurs. Luckily as I was sitting in front of the synagogue contemplating my next move I saw a family asking about services that night and the next morning. They were told that they open up at 6:15 in anticipation of a 6:30 service. Unfortunately the three Jews from Cochin who looked to be in their 70’s or 80’s were not enough to make a minyan. I worked to rally the troops and any Jewish family I saw I made sure that they knew about services that night. I bought a Kashmeire dress, since cut off shorts were not going to be ok and it looked like I was wearing a silk full length trash bag, really. The service was really nice, all 15 minutes of it and there were over 30 people who showed up. Of those just over half counted toward the minyan. I befriended two guys I met after services who were religious and we met up with Naitra and her friends at a local coffee shop. The catch was that we had to walk the length of the island because they don’t take taxis on Shabbat.

The next day I had planned on taking a ferry ride to see the other islands. I didn’t get too far as the ferry that launched from Ft. Cochin went to the next island over and that was the extent of the ferry ride. It took all of about 10 minutes to go from one side to the other and left me a lot of time to kill. Somehow while taking pictures of the Chinese fishing nets I befriended a group of fisherman. They took my camera and handed me a rope. Those nets are really heavy and you really do need about 6-7 strong men to lift it up and out of the water. The catch was not great as it turned out to be the off-season for fishing. They did pull up some fish I had never seen before including a helicopter fish and a few others that were notable.

I had just enough time for a quick lunch before rushing off to the airport to catch my flight back to Delhi. Up until this point I was carefree and quite enjoying being down south where the weather, food and people were closer to what I am accustomed to in Texas.

Naitra’s mom injured her knee and wasn’t able to drive me back to the airport, so she suggested that I take the bus to a certain point and then a rickshaw the rest of the way to the airport. The bus was suppose to take about an hour to an hour and a half when I woke up (I feel asleep on the bus from pure exhaustion) about 2 hours later and was still on the bus. Looking at my watch I realized that it was nearing 5pm and I was going to miss my 5:30 flight if I stayed on the bus, no bueno. At 30 minutes prior to the flights they don’t let anyone check in anymore and you lose the value of the ticket. After an insane rickshaw ride I arrived at the airport with less than 35 minutes till the flight running through the lobby bags flying. I was convinced that I was in the clear till the woman asked for my credit card I used to pay for the ticket. Not really reading instructions I had left that card at home. Turns out that without the card there was no way in hell I was going to get on that flight, even with my passport. I was not sleeping in the airport, not in India at least. I had to cash in every last emergency travelers check I had on me at the lowest rate possible and purchase a whole new ticket with about 10 minutes till the plane took off. The funny thing is that if i knew that I could have showed up at the airport 30 min before the flight and just purchased a ticket in cash 10 min before the flight left, well, I would have.

I did finally make it back to Delhi and walked into the flat to find that it was sweltering, none of the roommates were there anymore and I had no lights. Nice! Nothing would turn on and when I called the contact for the flat I got a, well not our problem. Good thing I’ve figured out how to annoy them and make myself intolerable till I get what I want. I don’t think that it is too much to ask to have lights and electricity when getting home from a long day of travel, then again I could just be high maintenance.

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