The island's single international airport was crowded. This, I soon discovered, was because His Excellency the President was expected to arrive any moment now, from a conference he had been attending in Rome. Half the population of the city, seized, it seemed, with a burning desire to welcome him home, had converged on the airport which was decorated as far as the eye could see with coloured banners and huge posters which carried pictures of His Excellency's smiling face. Flag-waving crowds and cheering school-children lined the approach to the airport. It was impossible to get a taxi -security police had cordoned off the taxi rank, and arriving passengers were ushered into an air­conditioned lounge where they were politely told they would have to wait until the President was safely on his way to the city, and the Customs and Immigration desks could re-open for business.



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