Yeah I know it has been awhile and I also know this is not my most popular story, but I am determined to finish it so I hope you enjoy!!!
Josef followed the band out of the village, away from the setting sun. Josef noticed that as soon as they were out of sight of the village the merchants got down off their camels and walked, chattering and chuckling among themselves. Josef smiled to himself, they had been putting a big show on in town, these men who crossed the desert to sell their wares looked like Kings to the poor villagers, but in reality their camels were old and worn and could not stand to bear their owners farther than their stature demanded.
Josef didn't need a translator to tell the merchants were congratulating themselves on the job they had done. Josef was sure their prices were exuberant compared to the city, but there was nothing he could do about it, that was the way of the world.
Josef stayed to the outside of the pack, he couldn't socialize and something told him that not being noticed was good. They trotted through the night at a pace Josef could not stand, He longed to break from them and race into the night, but he had no clue where he was headed and he could turn the wrong way and head back out into the endless desert, so he bid his time, wondering what Mick was doing to help him.
Beth blinked into the sunlight as she excited the plane. She had made it to Delhi, finally and was so happy to have ground beneath her feet that she was considering putting Josef on a plane and testing the theory of a land bridge between Asia and America.
The person behind Beth nudged her, pushing her out of the way as they headed up the gangplank. Beth shouldered her bag and gripped the ice chest as she headed for the customs terminal. She crossed her fingers and hoped that Mick's, actually Josef's, contact had made all her paperwork legitimate.
Josef noticed the light of the pre-dawn spreading across the land and was wondering when the merchants planned to stop. He noticed, to his great frustration, the camels had begun to slow down as if unable to press on, Josef didn't blame them, they were carrying all the heavy merchandise after all, but their pace annoyed him.
Finely, to Josef's relief, one of the men called a halt. The other merchants tethered the camels, pulling out some feed and water from the over laden packs. Josef headed over the dune from where the other men were. He dug into the sand and buried himself deep within the soil. His last thought as he drifted off to sleep was to wonder if the merchants would be there when he awoke, Well, at least I can follow the smell of their stinking camels for days if needed…
Beth gawked at the crowd. The international arrivals area had been large, clean and empty. The main terminal was another story however. There were lots of people crowded in a tight space and due to the on-going construction she couldn't see any signs or directions that pointed her to the domestic flights.
A man asked for her ticket and she handed it to him, not sure what was going on. He looked at her rather oddly, but waived her through. Beth followed the crowd up a ramp that was lined with even more people calling out to those coming down the ramp with her.
She gazed in wonder as she watched a man get draped with a lay that would make any hula girl in Hawaii feel awkward and then he was showered in petals as he bent to touch the feet of an older man and woman standing before him. Beth's jaw dropped as she realized the woman was holding a plate with what looked like a candle that she was spinning in the air in front of the man before she speared red powder on his forehead. Huh…must not be a married woman thing…
As she stood there, Beth realized she'd accidentally walked out of the airport. Shit! My bags! My stuff! How the hell do I get to my flight now?! Beth looked around, but she still didn't see anything that looked like a domestic wing to the airport, the whole place seemed to consist of the international arrivals.
Beth couldn't bring herself to ask one of the hundreds of people standing in the greeting area, she felt stupid and ashamed, besides she didn't speak the language. Wait! The guy at the exit spoke English, he asked for my 'ticket'! Beth did and about face and marched back through the crowd towards the man at the exit.
As Beth approached the man looked at her quizzically. Beth smiled, trying to cover her embarrassment and asked, "Uh, I just came out of here, but I, uh, didn't realize that this was the exit and I, uh, need to make my domestic flight."
The grinned and asked for her ticket again. Then he waved a young woman over who had a security badge around her neck and looked like someone with authority. The man and woman exchanged a few words in a language Beth couldn't understand. Why couldn't Josef get lost in France? I could have at least asked where the bathroom was?! Then the woman smiled, beckoning Beth through.
Beth let out a collective sigh of relief and followed the woman back into the terminal. The woman quickly explained that the domestic airport was a separate airport and there was a shuttle service to take Beth there. The woman pointed to a set of doors squeezed between a couple of car rental booths.
No wonder I didn't see it. Beth thought as she headed for the shuttle service. The woman quickly stopped her again and asked if she had and luggage. "Yes," Beth responded. "But it was tagged to go to Jaisalmer."
"No, madam, all luggage must be claimed here and transferred to the domestic airport by you." The woman said as she steered Beth toward the conveyers of luggage. Beth's heart sunk. She hadn't gone overboard on her packing, but she didn't want to have to lug her baggage around anymore than need be.
The woman found a cart and helped Beth load her baggage before directing Beth back to the hidden doorway. Beth thanked the woman and headed through the doorway to the shuttle service. Oh, what fun! Beth thought sarcastically. I just hope the shuttle is fast or I might not make my next flight.
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