The suits and badges

We have just arrived in Marseilles, and I have already experienced the concept of the “elite” at this international conference. When I stepped off the plane onto the runway, I saw two ladies in matching red suits holding 6th World Water Forum signs. All the other suited men and women from the flight gathered around these World Water Forum ladies. Not wanting to miss this opportunity to receive assistance, I joined and followed them. Off we went as chicks in a row, with me the odd duck wobbling behind. Inside the airport building, they ladies asked me politely if I was a delegate for the Forum. “Yeah, of course I am,” I replied as confidently as I could. As the other people waited for their luggage, I followed the information ladies. We passed through two big white doors with guards standing outside. I was escorted inside a room with white leather sofas, wine, hors-d’oeuvres and more people with suits. I was asked again if I was part of a delegation, and this time I admitted “College of the Atlantic.” While the lady checked my passport and printed out my entrance badge I took my one opportunity and grabbed some schnazzy fruit and a refreshment, knowing that they soon would realize that I was just a student volunteering at the Alternative Water Forum. They asked me where I wanted to go, and when I replied that I needed to get to my hostel, they politely pointed me to the bus.  As I walked over to the low carbon emission commuter bus, I saw the rest of the real delegation go into their waiting taxis.

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