Free Spirits Around the World in 99 Days travel blog

After Jim was released from his hotel room (see previous entry) he did set out for a walk. His first objective was to get cash. In an economy in which a cup of tea is 10 and a simple restaurant dish 150-200-300, even 500 rupee notes go relatively quickly.

Cash realized, now Jim just wanted to walk. He had gone maybe 30 minutes when he reconnected with Mo and others. Feeling tired and wanting food, he asked if Mo would stop with him at Monica Restaurant. Like most things in India, the restaurant was up a flight and a half of steep stairs.

They were allowed to choose a table. Mo placed her camera on the table where it would be in sight at all times.

Before Jim could sit down, he had a sudden dizzy spell. He may have been dehydrated or too taxed by the walk, but for whatever reason, the next thing he knew, he was on the floor, surrounded by an international contingent of the concerned, including a local gentleman of some strength; the waiter; and a wonderful Chinese woman who was daubbing his face and temples with Tiger Balm and holding the jar of the Balm under Jim's nose as smelling salts.

Of course he had fainted.

Now seated and recovering, he sat embarrassed across from Mo. She had just picked up her camera from the hard floor. Jim was not sure if he knocked it on his way down, if Mo knocked it over in her haste to help Jim, or if it had been jostled by one of the concerned.

It had not been daubbed with Tiger Balm.

Jim recovered and has continued to recover from a flu-like travelers bug.

Next time Mo used her camera, though, its symptoms of ill health were immediate. When she tired the shutter, it would not function, and the monitor produced not an image but an error message.

It is not a cheap point and shoot camera. It is a high quality Nikon with interchangeable lenses and features including error messages.

Fortunately one of our group is a professional photographer. On his advice, we looked up the error message on the Internet. We were dealing with a stuck gear, most likely.

We now had a choice. Try to find a competent repair shop, or find a set of small Philips screwdrivers so our companion could try the repair for us. Mo's choice was the screwdriver set, a choice with karmic implications, as we were to discover in the next city.

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