Next day, Well the same day on Sunday, 19th Feb, we relaxed at Vishnu’s Place. Vishnu is doing his masters in the university of Rolla. His roommates Shivaraj and Vivek were quite friendly. We were planning on leaving to St Louis by 10:30AM but got really late and left only by 1PM. Vishnu and Shivaraj joined us. We reached Saint Louis at around 2:00 pm.
We had to stop first for lunch at a restaurant called peacock. I reckon it is a Pakistani Restaurant as it had a board claiming Indian and Pakistani cuisine as their specialities. The food was okay. We then stopped at an indian store for some grocery that Vishnu and Shiv had to do. They normally do that while they are here as that seems to be the closest Indian store for them. After that we drove to the famous St Louis arch. The drive to there was a little confusing as the city to us seemed very congested. Lot of interstate cross each other and hence it is a must to be watchful. Instead of getting on the road to arch we got on the road to Chicago and then had to circle back. Vishnu suggested we park next to the Missouri river to skip parking fee.
But not everything worked in our favour. All tickets to the tram that takes you up the arch was sold out. Disappointed, we had to return after visiting the museum. We planned to visit here again the next morning on our way to Chicago.
The place was entirely covered with mist so it appeared very gloomy and uneventful. But the arch seemed to stand tall and magnificent gracing the city since 1963.
On our way back Shiv and I had a good conversation and it was really funny. We started by jokingly commenting on how many kids Americans had and then I mentioned how the parents did not have to worry after they turn 18, unlike in India. That’s when it turned really funny when Shiv started off - « In india parents have to look after their children, provide them education, get them married and send fools like me to study and die in the US and we come here and wonder! Who’s fault is this - Society’s or US’s? All this conversation was happening in kannada and that made it even more enjoyable and humorous.
We dropped Jonah at his cousin’s house and made a quick stop at Vishnu’s cousins place before returning back to Rolla. We were extremely tired by our long drive previous night and then a eventful day. Shiv prepared some delicious curd rice for us and after having dinner we went to bed. Shiv left to college library for studying.
Next morning we bid farewell with Vishnu and left at around 6:30 AM and reached St Louis by 8:45AM. Had some delicious Dosa’s at Jonah’s cousin’s house and left at around 9:30 AM i guess. We stopped at the arch again and still had no luck since the next tram was supposed to leave at 12:30 PM. So we thought that this was it with St.Louis and decided to drive to Chicago.
We had some good time in Rolla and St.Louis. We got to meet some friends of us who are studying and get a glimpse of their life style. Vishnu and Shiv were of great company for us and I shall always remember this time spent with them. I also remember being sad to drive away quietly from an eventful company the previous day. But at the other end of the road another bigger city was awaiting us with perhaps more excitement.