My flights from Los Angeles to Manzanillo are usually quite tame. My section of the cabin is mostly populated by the type of people who, at their most emotional, are testy, but who are almost uniformly bland as a Dow Jones report.
Not so on Sunday.
My brother, mother and I boarded early. Simply because we walked up to the counter just as our section was allowed to board. We settled in -- along with an aging Canadian couple. All of us meeting the staid model of reticence.
That was soon to change. The remainder of the cabin filled with an extended family. Bursting with joy. And shouted conversation. A cooler of food was quickly opened and rice cakes, quesadillas, pizza, and assorted drinks were passed around and shared by the family.
The young man sitting beside me was studying the Talmud. Being the Sherlock I am, I deduced he was a rabbinical student. If this had been Jeopardy, I would have been pushing to get $100 out of that conclusion.
The entire family was on its way to a Jewish conference in a hotel near my village. (They were very open about their meeting place. But there are people in this world who do not wish Jews well. Because I do wish them well, the place they are meeting is not important. Other than it is in Mexico.)
The family patriarch (an odd term for a man who must be in his 40s at most) is married to an Israeli. But he is Mexican. Born in Mexico City. And has converted to Judaism.
I could not resist the question. Did he feel safe living in and visiting Jerusalem? He chuckled. "Safer than living in Los Angeles. I am a trained reservist. I know how to take care of myself."
And his family knew exactly how to take care of life. Children were held. And kissed profusely. Opinions were expressed with conviction. And loudly.
It would have been easy to get irritated. The Canadian couple looked as if they were melting down. But I decided to join in the family's fun.
As a result, I may have the honor of celebrating Passover with people I admire (after all where would my faith be without theirs?) in a country I admire.
But all of that will have to wait until I talk with the good folks at immigration this morning. I need to discover whether I a eligible for a permanent resident visa or if I can still eke out one more year on my FM3.
Let the fun begin.