First, just walking around was an experience. Most people had their heads buried in their smartphone or ipad, diligently texting, talking or watching something of apparently great importance, while simultaneously walking through consruction sites, dodging speeding taxis (literally), and seemingly unconcerned about the potential to get mugged or robbed at any moment.
Second my hotel was in an area of the city that took me back to my days in southern Iraq. It was damp, the air was heavy, debris was everywhere, and there was the all too familiar smell of a sand and oil mix. The store where I bought my evening banana was run by a recently arrived Arab family, around the corner I ate supper at a mexican restaraunt that felt like Tampico, and I could have easily had desert with an Indian merchant in the next storefront. This is all one city block mind you. About a half a mile away, seems like someone drew this line in the road and we entered an area that felt more like my current reality. Here we had breakfast at a Greek owned Coney Island type eatery that was to become our main source of meals in the next two days. Keep in mind that my current community not 4%, but .4% minorities. Here there were at least 5 nationalities in one city block.
|View from my hotel room|
But this post is long enough. It's also getting late.