in a new city today.

a busy city, a city meant for tourists, a city that feels like an overgrown town - old, broken houses, roads that aren't really roads, people herding cows through flyovers; it's a foggy afternoon and the river crawls through what used to be beautiful: bright, bright clothes, sarees of every colour all along one bank of the river. the other bank is dry, collecting garbage and forgotten.

we enter the taj mahal from the south gate. we weave through a small slum in the back to get there: women standing in line with plastic matkas of every colour by a handpump, children getting back home from school skipping stones in the small open drain by the side of the road.

i feel like an intruder, but our guide insists on the shortcut. it saves time, he says. it's a good view, he says.

it is.

of the white mausoleum in the fog, it's a good view. it's majestic, but the magic is lost on me. it's pretty, but the beauty is lost on me.

this city hasn't called to me. this city, i don't feel like it wants me. i don't know how to embrace it. it doesn't have a vibe. not one that i can feel, anyway.

it's a first. 


(i haven't written about barcelona or paris yet. i want to, but i don't want to. i don't know how. yet.)

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