Salutational Quandary

Posted: August 18, 2009 in Uncategorized
Every day I wake up and walk through the campus gates I anticipate a totally ridiculous comment from expected quarters or an amazingly intelligent comment from unexpected quarters. Most times am not disappointed.
Daystar University is amazing. I don’t just mean it in the marvellous kind of way but in an astounding kind of way as well. Most times am not surprised but occasionally am thrown out of balance by the level of absurdities either in people’s speeches or in their mannerisms.

Today (and a hundred times before) as I was strolling down PAC court I was taken aback by the display of affection that unfolded right in front of my eyes. I say display of affection to mean greetings that do not only involve words but uncomfortable physical contact coupled with animal-like sounds. These two girls, these two beautiful and otherwise well-cultured girls bumped into each other on their way to class. They could very well be Lily and Donna. First, Lily lets out a high-pitched shriek in Donna’s direction and Donna follows suit and shrieks back at her. Now people normally shriek when they think they have seen a ghost or something equally scary. At this point my ears hurt so badly but more so my brain from trying to decipher this code of communication. Just then Lily and Donna throw their arms around each other and plant kisses on each others faces obviously glad to see each other for the umpteenth time.

The gentlemen, if I can call them that, have also been caught up in this theatrical insanity in the name of greetings. Now there’s is a more macho kind of handshake, followed by banging of the shoulders in a half-embrace and ended with striking each others back with a fist. I stopped trying to figure it out. It is simply aggressive in my eyes.

Salutations and greetings are probably the one thing I dread in Daystar University. I mean, I don’t mind the attention I get when I come back from a long holiday but if you are going to shriek and strike me on the back every time we meet then I might just stay away. I would like to feel my hands too after minutes of having my hand shaken, thank you very much and please go easy on the hugging. My back still hurts from our last encounter!

Whatever happened to old fashioned firm and less painful hand-shake? You know, the kind that you feel the hand but you don’t really feel it because it doesn’t last too long? If you ask me, I prefer simply nodding in your direction in acknowledgement especially when I am trying to get to class on time. If I have a bit of time to spare, I might just say hello and proceed to find out how you are doing; maintaining a good distance from you. Don’t get me wrong, this is not anti-social behaviour. It is simply one person honouring the other person’s need for personal space. Save the intimate hugging and kissing for people you genuinely care about and even then do it in discretion; people are trying to get on with their lives without the unnecessary distraction.


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