Normally I like to travel solo. But there are some parts of the world where I’m not comfortable going alone. I could get irretrievably lost.
Before I ever dreamed of living in France I planned a tour to Kathmandu and Nepal. It was something I’d wanted to do since I was in college. Back then I was invited by my good friend, Rosemary, to go with her and another friend to Asia. They were traveling on a Dutch freighter. At the time, I had just finished college and I was scheduled to start my first job. I had no money to travel. When Rosemary returned from her trip and told me about the exotic sights she’d seen — especially in Kathmandu and Nepal– I swore to myself I would go there someday. So three years ago, I booked a tour with Overseas Adventure Travel to fulfill the pledge to myself.
Now I’m here!
An unexpected delay
No matter how well you plan, something seems to go awry when you travel. My flight connection to Kathmandu — the one that was to take less than an hour– it was canceled. The next plane was ten hours later. I was I’m someplace called “Sharjay.”Now I know, Sharjay is the third largest city in the United Arab Republic. No wonder there were so many people in the terminal. Hundreds of Arabs, Nepalese and other, mostly men, were standing, sitting and laying all around. The few women I saw were seated together.
When the plane arrived for Kathmandu it seemed good fortune had returned. All three seats on the exit row were mine for the four hour flight. As lady-like as I could, I spread across the row and attempted to sleep. Not an easy trick with a plane full of happy, laughing Nepalese men. They had been away working on projects in Dubai and other Arab cities and they were excited to be heading home.
Landing on time in Kathmandu, only the crowded bus ride to the terminal and grabbing my bags were between me and being taken to the hotel by my trip leader. I couldn’t wait to see him standing at the welcome gate holding a sign with my name.
Inside I joined the throngs of travelers who were watching for their bags to come off the carousel. I waited and waited and waited some more. I waited until every bag and every person had left the terminal. I waited until my trip leader had given up and left the airport to take the other travelers to the hotel.
When I had given up and was heading to report my lost luggage, there was a lone black bag with an orange handle sitting at the other end of the terminal. I had been standing at the wrong carousel.