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On landing at the airport in St. Louis, Missouri, it took quite a while to locate the baggage claim point. Luckily for me, I found a friendly airport staff who pointed out the direction to me:

“You go that way, turn left, walk up the stairs, turn right, turn right again and keep going. It’s pretty easy!”.

I agreed, and followed his direction. I eventually asked somebody else when it seemed that I was gonna get lost, and I found my way at last to M1 where my bag finally came out. The next step was to find my greeters who were at this time nowhere to be found, so I walked towards the exit, and sat down. I was in St. Louis, the beautiful town famous for the likes of Miles Davies the jazz trumpeter. Should I step out of the airport and feed my eyes while I wait for my greeters? I decided against it, and just waited. After about 8minutes of waiting, I took one last walk back to M1, the baggage claim point, where I found someone carrying a sheet of paper that had my name written boldly on it. I brought out my camera and *click* took a picture. I went closer and introduced myself.

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There were two of them: Mary – a student of English Pre-law from the Students Government body, and Sai – an Indian in the Engineering department. They helped with my bags, took me to eat some more flour-based food, and we headed to campus.

I hadn’t had breakfast since morning, and the bagel I ordered in the morning was kinda unsatisfactory because of all the cheese they stuffed in it that I wasn’t used to. Luckily for me, these were students from the International Students Office who had come to bring me to campus, and I could be free to tell them how I really feel. “I would prefer something not made with flour,” I said. And from the first giggle, I knew it was an impossible task.

All for me

All for me

I am now on campus, in my room, after signing for the key, and everywhere I turn to here, there is a sign that bears my name, welcoming me to Edwardsville. I feel special. There is a basket of fruits for me from the International Hospitality Program. There’s also a large paper bag containing everything I must need to be comfortable in this lodging: Pringles, tissue paper, snacks, jotter, pen, crayons, nail clipper, toothbrush, shampoo, hand sanitizer, deodorant, sugar, milk, juice, toothpaste, plastic spoons, chocolate, salted peanuts among many many others that I haven’t yet opened. It’s impossible not to feel special right now. In the fridge is another assortment of food items, all for me. I know this because my name has also been tagged onto the door of the refrigerator.

This is the honeymoon phase. This is my first night. So help me God.

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7 thoughts on “A Warm Southern Welcome

  1. I sincerely hope all of these kind gestures would be repeated when you are leaving. Tell them that ‘ebi wa tobi o’ .I mean they should just multiply the gifts by the number of us that you left behind, abi?

  2. Pingback: My 2009 Timeline « ktravula – a travelogue!

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