Shortly after the phone call, we see two of the guys from earlier haul a bed inside the cinderblock. They put it in the corner and then go get sheets. So that is what the phone call was about – he had them bring in a bed so he can keep an eye on us. No telling what we would do to this place, left unattended.
Once it’s clear we will all be sleeping together, we try to get more comfortable. I watch as the owner prepares himself for bed. I know he hates us – I can see it every time he glances in our direction. Then he takes off his shirt which reveals a shoulder gun holster and we all gasp. It looked like this:
Turns out, it was just a back brace. False alarm! Ha ha ha. (nervous laughter…)
I go over to an empty table and push 3 plastic chairs together into some sort of makeshift chair bed. I lie down for approximately 3 minutes and get back up. I can’t feel my feet at this point, so we do some exercises under the harsh glow of the one fluorescent bulb he leaves on.
I didn’t know Juana was recording, otherwise I would have cleaned up for you guys. I love Chad’s half-hearted leg kicks. And if you listen closely, you can hear the owner snoring peacefully, completely impervious to the cold.
I look at the clock and 6 minutes has passed. At this point I fall into a heap and just cry. This night will never end. At least my tears are warm.
Somehow, the night passes and we start packing up our stuff around 5AM. The walk to the airport is bleak. It’s cold, we’re exhausted, carrying heavy packs, I’m dirty, my clothes are crawling with parasites I’m sure. Just an all around miserable moment. We finally see the Varanasi airport looming ahead – a sleek structure with modern lines and clean white marble. All I can think about is how odd it looks in contrast to its surroundings.
Everyone has their paper itineraries printed out…except for Lorelei and me. Of course. So they let everyone into the airport, except us. I watch the others walk through the doors, heaving giant sighs of relief and practically sprinting to the restaurant. I pull my face off the glass to walk over to the airport office outside.
We are told to wait until the Spice Jet office opens, then we can ask them to print our itineraries for a dollar. Itineraries, people. Not tickets. You need an ITINERARY just to enter the airport. Fucking India.
We’re standing there, and as soon as the window opens, about 3 Indians materialize in front of us and start inquiring about their flights. They’re not ones for queuing. But I have no resolve at this point to care. Lorelei pushes them back and says “We were first! No!”. I nod my head in approval. The Indians step back, and Lorelei hands our passports through the window. We get our itineraries, go through about 23 security checkpoints, and board our plane to Goa via Delhi.