Around seven in the evening we stood there all together in a striped djellaba, shabby tulbands around our heads. Our dromedaries were selected to our posture. I was made part of a little group of three, three women mounting three dromedares. I was totally seperated from my travelcompanion. First tombling forwards and then backwards and the dromedary stood straight up and I on top, behind the hump. Frankly, it was ridiculous, doing a little circuit on the back of a dromedary imagining the circuit had been done a million times before, not a marvelous experience of the Sahara, but there I was riding a dromedary and when I squeezed my eyes I experienced a wonderful sunset and an empty desert, I enjoyed the rhythm of the dromedary. My striped djellaba protected me from sand blown up in the warm wind and it formed a half balloon behind my back.
I saw an other meharee leaving, a little further a dust-cloud, I watched the distance, felt like a nomad in the desert, then I could distinguish three horsemen.
The same moment I had totally forgotten I was a tourist, I shouted enthusiast to my meharee companions: "Look over there! There comes my prince!"
With stretched arm and stretched forefinger I pointed out in the direction of the exotic horsemen with tulbands wounded around their heads galloping fast towards us riding beautifully decorated horses, piped blankets under the saddles, their harnesses decorated with colored ornaments.
"If they wish I give my permission to kidnap me!" I giggled nervously.
One of the cavaliers approached me and begged me in a mixture of French, German and English for a ride with him on the back of his horse. I tried to make clear in my mixture of French, German and English and with a vague nervous feeling I had no money and didn ' t felt it fair not to pay. A young man and his girlfriend each made a ride with him, riding the saddle on the back of the horse, he, the Bedouin sat behind the saddle and the both of them made a gallop, two people on the back of the horse.
Again and again he returned to me. In my mixture of French, German and English I tried to explain to him I did not liked the idea to ride the horse together, that I preferred to ride the horse all by myself. He promised me everything, but again it didn 't felt fair because I had no money with me to pay him.
I said to him: "You are already in my heart, for ever. You have made a dream come true!"
A fourth time the mysterious Bedouin approached me and jumped off his horse. "Kouki is his name", he told me. The chamelier nodded his head. "No," he wanted to say to me, but I ignored his signal and slided off my high dromedary. I thought myself stupid offering any longer resistance.
I mounted, my heart bouncing and my knee stiff from an operation and before I knew, the mysterious Bedouin sat behind me, behind the saddle. I felt his arms along mine, his body against my back, his voice in my ear:
“Dance, dance”, his hand on my belly, “dance, dance!”
Off we went, galloping the dunes, which were surprisingly firm, I could notice. This was my dream!
"Where do you want to go?" he asked me in English.
"Just go!" I mumbled and pointed in no direction in the distance.
“Fast or slow?”
I immediately had this image in my head, far far away in the desert, slow had to last forever, was my wish, but at the same time I realized the meharee, my group was waiting for me.
"Fast", I choose.
"Give me a kiss," I heard soflty in my ear and I turned a little and gave him a kiss on his lips. Little effort, was my idea. A little later, closer to our meharee he asked for another kiss and then I decided I couldn 't do it, how exciting it even could be.
"What' s in a kiss?", I asked him rhetorically and I told him: "I have closed you in my heart." That was the truth.
I had no idea how fast to mount my dromedary to come to my senses. I told my mysterious Bedouin I had reasons for a return and I asked him for his solution how to come in contact. A printed card with his photo -him standing with his feet on the back of the horse and one arm in triumph high in the air- slipped from his hand in a pocket of my dark green cargo pants. He closed the flap carefully like we had some sort of secret and when I faced my companions I heard the question: "What did you had to pay him having this long ride?"
"C' est gratuit!" I explained the chamelier who had nodded his head so uneasy with his brown teeth higgledy-piggledy in his mouth.
On our way back while I was enjoying the gorgeous sunset I was critizing myself how weak my reason was ever to return.
“With a photography crew,” I tried to explain myself, “How can I think of such an idea when it is my desire to quit my fashionstyling work?"
High on top of my dromedary I took again the bussiness card from my pocket. I watched the distance. No traces were left behind of the three cavaliers. The desert looked deserted in the twilight.
I had experienced a part of my own fairytale and now I had to return to reality.
The date was Thursday the 21th of June, summer had just started.
I had carefully kept the bussiness card of the mysterious Bedouin, turned it in my hands a couple of times, put it away and again taken it in my hands. I wrote a little message by email, to thank him for his generosity.
That is how I started to email with my mysterious Bedouin who responded passionately.
I gave my telephone number and we started to call.
We had contact every day.
We exchanged pictures, but I could not figgering out how he possibly could look like. His appearance was kept mysteriously in shadows, or the picture size was simply too small and his face disappeared in a fog of pixels when magnifying.
Almost immediately he invited me for the Bedouin wedding of his brother who had planned to marry at the end of July. The celebration would last for four days. I surfed the internet for an impression of a Bedouin wedding. My stylist nature was triggered and my heart had been sincerely touched by Abderrahim.
Short translated version, quoted from THE MANUSCRIPT -van die tante met dat paard- in progress.