It’s 4:00 a.m. in New York City, and the wind is blowing hard enough to make the rain fall sideways, blowing off the edges of that five-dollar aahmbrella you bought from a West African dude. It’s summer already but the rain is still cold, although the flowing water that hits your legs feels warm.

Especially for an Indian expat, getting a cab is usually not hard, but tonight every cab that passes is occupied, off duty, or both. You are a twenty-minute walk from the subway, and because of weekend schedules, you’d have to change trains three times to get home to Lower Manhattan. Here’s your choice: walk to the train or fight it out for a cab—and good luck with that when you’re dripping wet.

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