Back in Cochin and the days are getting progressively slower. I am sitting around in this old colonial outpost waiting for my Land Rover to arrive.
The shipping agent keeps shifting the arrival date with a shrug of his shoulders as if to say ‘it is God’s will’ and then apologises, adding ‘it is best if you come back tomorrow. Then we can see if the ship has docked.’
The ship is now two days late; but this does not seem to concern the shipping agent’s blunted spirit. He is relaxed, his head tilted to one side as if he wants to sleep; the fan continues to turn above his desk. He has little to add, he has seen it all before and will not lose sleep over a missing ship.
‘In its own time.’ He yawns as he tells his view and then ignores me.
The customs are closed when the sun is high, even then the dogs stop barking and sleep in the dust.
I am also waiting for a donkey which is working at a temple building site high on a hill top. Something tells me the donkeys work will not be finished any time soon.
I have a visa which requires an extension, meaning a trip to another old colonial outpost. Except there is a rumour the ferry I intend to catch has hit rocks and is no longer running.
In today’s newspapers the government, like some banana republic, at the last midnight shocked the nation and have plunged the country into chaos without any warning, by cancelling the legality of the countries only notes of any value, promoting the 100 rupee note (worth little over a pound) as the highest note of any value which can be legally used.
I sit and watch the road into Cochin waiting for the priest, who has spent too many years in this outpost, to arrive on his lame donkey, a drunk and an adulterer, with news the revolutionary militia are close to the gates of the town. Then I will know it is time to leave and the Graham Green novel will be complete.