Pre-trip Prep

New York City, capital of the world, the perfect place to prepare for such a global venture as ours. On our way to the Pakistani Consulate (in a posh upper east side neighborhood), I had a 10-minute conversation in Spanish with our Salvadoran cab driver who offered concerned advice as we got out of the car: “Take care of yourself, my brother. Happy travels.”

Then, we were packed into a confusing crowd of pressing Pakistanis, not understanding the language, sticking out like sore, white thumbs, offering paperwork, receipts, passport photos, cash . . . while just outside, it was a crisp, spring day in Central Park. Five hours later, on our way back to Penn Station, our Bangladeshi cabby told us about the monsoons and the summer months. “It is very hot,” he said. “Very, very hot.”

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