When I was young, there were worn, open-topped boxes of dark wood filled with lentils and rice and beans at the shop on the corner of our street. I would sit on the edge of one, then reach my hand in amongst the powdery granules of dal or basmati and swirl around and around, fascinated by the sensation and by the way it always rippled then adjusted to bury my fingers under a perfectly level surface. It was bizarre how many times in Seoul, underneath all the gleam, moments of Kathmandu in a shape or a taste or a smell made me feel at ease. Sadly, as cities we’re clearly heading in very different directions.

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