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Through Space and Time - Part 4 - The Caravanserai
Through Space and Time - Part 4

The Caravanserai

As the stars climbed over the horizon we were on the road again.
One of the two women was no longer traveling with us; I heard she had been sold. The camel now carried a new box in its place.

This time I was rested and was able to observe the path better. I noticed the particularly clear starry sky and recognized constellations. Our path initially led further east, later we turned south-east.
The desert didn't change. The ground was mostly solid reddish stony dirt, partly interspersed with red sandstone mountains. In between, the wind had occasionally blown up dunes.


Ripples marked the loose sand, and the caravan avoided these places. So we rode stupidly all night long. Once a camel tripped, but luckily it was nothing serious.
The loss of the camel would have meant the end of the cargo. I have no idea whether the Bedouins would have left boxes or women behind.
Towards morning there was a change on the horizon. At first we heard birds, which was unusual in the desert. Then little by little cacti, grass and bushes came into view and the vegetation became more and more dense.

While the first plants were still olive green and dry, the vegetation was now slowly becoming greener.


Finally, large date palms could be seen in the distance, signaling an oasis. The camels ran faster on their own. The camel drivers now had difficulty keeping up.


Towards mid-morning we saw the walls of the Karavanserai. A small but stately fortress that secured the oasis against robbers and promised traders protection, relaxation and good business.


The mood of the normads also noticeably improved. They had probably been traveling through the desert for several weeks before they met me. Now water, food and fun for a few days were alluring, because here you stay longer.


Many craftsmen had settled under the protection of the Karavanserai and a small village had formed. 


From far away I saw an Arabian windmill on the rock that dominated the oasis.


We rode into the middle of the market square, which was surrounded by traders, craft shops and a tavern. The leader of the normads dismounted and went into the caravanserai.


A little later he came back and gave the signal to dismount. The camels were cared for outside. The goods and slaves were taken to the safe camps of the Karavanserai. The leaders of the caravan took up comfortable quarters in the caravanserai, the simple camel drivers were accommodated outside in the common camp of the outer tavern.
I also came to the camp with the slaves. On the way through the fortress gate, I spotted a noblely dressed Arab on the first floor of the adjacent palace. He also noticed me and looked after me for a long time.

I was in the camp for a few hours and we were well fed, then the heavily covered door swung open. A slave picked me up and took me to the merchants' tavern. Here the noble traders relaxed, while the simple camel drivers refreshed themselves in the cheap bar in front of the caravanserai. I was told to wait here and I used the time to look around.
There was a dining room and an entertainment room.



In the latter, the bellydance stage dominated in the middle. I noticed a number of compartments all around.


Then the leader of the caravan came in with the Arab I had previously seen in the palace. Under other conditions I would have liked him; he was young and sporty and strongly built. I immediately noticed that it was about me. The elegantly dressed Arab looked me up and down - and back again. Apparently the two had been talking for a long time, and a bulging bag passed to the owner without another word.

The caravan leader thanked them profusely for the good business and bowed.
The Arab motioned to his guards to take me to the harem.
It was just a short walk across the courtyard. I entered there. The harem door was guarded, but where could I escape?
First we went to the bathroom, which was surprisingly large considering the dry location.
The harem ladies undressed and bathed me, first in water then in a small basin with camel milk.


I almost felt like I was in a wellness hotel and was able to really enjoy the situation.


Afterwards I waited for a massage from a strong Nubian woman who introduced herself as Amira.


It was quite rough but I noticed how tense I had been from the camel rides. This was followed by rubbing with precious spice oils, which was done by a small, delicate Skalvin with her soft hands. I now smelled like the Spice Bazaar of Istanbul.

Then they brought me new clothes. Silk robes, gold rings and jewelry. I looked like I was in a fairy tale from 1001 Nights.
I was just very aware of the situation.

I was taken to the small garden of the Karavanserai



and should wait...

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