In the book "The Reluctant Fundamentalist", by Mohsin Hamid, the narrator meets a young American tourist in a café in Lahore, the second largest city of Pakistan. Well educated and articulated, he describes the impact of urbanization in the districts of Lahore, but refers to the old parts of the city, particularly to the one where they are staying, as "more democratically urban". That is when the American asks him if the Pakistani would compare it with Manhattan:
"(...) Yes, precisely! And that was one of the reasons why for me moving to New York felt - so unexpectedly - like coming home. But there were other reasons as well: the fact that Urdu was spoken by taxi-cab drivers; the presence, only two blocks from my East Village apartment, of a samosa- and channa-serving establishment called the Pak-Punjab Deli; the coincidence of crossing Fifth Avenue during a parade and hearing, from loudspeakers mounted on the South Asian Gay and Lesbian Association float, a song to which I had danced at my cousin´s wedding.
In a subway car, my skin would typically fall in the middle of the color spectrum. On street corners, tourists would ask me for directions. I was, in four and a half years, never an American; I was immediately a New Yorker. What? My voice is rising? You are right; I tend to become sentimental when I think of that city. It still occupies a place of great fondness in my heart, which is quite something, I must say, given the circumstances under which, after only eight months of residence, I would later depart."
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