the process

You get used to it all.

You eat your meals on a stool 4 inches off the ground, as motorbikes zoom past a hairsbreadth from your back.

You sweat through every item of clothing you have, and don’t care.

You reflexively counteroffer at a quarter of every offered price, and smile as you get argued up to a half (which is still a 200% profit).

You stop noticing the noise.

You get the tones right when ordering coffee. Occasionally.

You dodge from sidewalk to street to shopfront and back, to avoid scooters or walk in the shade.

You eat noodles for breakfast. And love it.

You get really good at blowing off touts and hawkers.

You realize just how much you were overcharged for water when you first got here.

You love every minute of it.

And then, of course, you have to leave.

(On the other hand, I could murder a bagel and lox.)

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