I felt a gush of cool wind touch my bare and exhausted skin as I walked towards the baggage claim area with my father at AllamaIqbalInternationalAirport in Lahore, Pakistan. We were abruptly stopped from proceeding to our destination by a swarm of individuals, which I had not expected to see, considering the fact that it was about three o’clock in the morning. I was rattling my brain to solve this mystery by observing my surroundings, when suddenly my father and I were greeted by two pleasant police officers who apparently knew my father. They led us away from the crowd, and asked us to give them our passports and wait, which made me a bit skeptical about the officer’s politeness. When I consulted my father about my worry, he laughed heartily and managed to say “Oh, my poor child! You have forgotten—” before the officers returned with our passports and led us towards the baggage claim area. Up till now I had been full of joy and anticipation; however, now I was mystified by my surroundings and my father’s incomplete dialogue. Nevertheless I aimlessly followed my father and once we reached the baggage claim, I began to locate my bags trying not to bother my father as there was a profound converse going on between my father and the officers. I located my suitcase and hastily began to haul it off the motioning belt, when I suddenly found myself surrounded by several strange men fighting to assist me. Bluntly, I was terrified until I heard a familiar voice scolding the men, and commanding them to assist someone else. The voice belonged to my uncle, who I had not seen in six years.
As I entered the stunning mansion, which was owned by my uncle, I met numerous faces with one sole expression in common, excitement and pleasure, which produced a delight within my soul that I could not explain, even to myself, yet I knew then that this would be the most memorable winter vacation of my life. The dazed and confused state had left me on our way to the mansion from the airport, when my father explained the situations I had encountered and this nation’s foreign customs. The crowd had actually been in line to have their visa’s verified and stamped, and the officers had done us a favor by taking matters into their own hands and hastening the process for us. The strange men who had frightened me were simply doing their jobs, as they were baggage porters. I explained these misunderstandings to my family as we chatted until dawn, and all they had to say was, “This is Pakistan, the land of hospitality and mysteries.”
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