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Aditi’s Braids

“Namaste, hello, I need to go to my family’s house near Maharajgunj chowk,” I told the taxi driver, loading my backpack into the trunk of his yellow cab. A wave of confusion crossed his face. “Tapaaiko pariwaar?” Your family? I knew what he was thinking: How can this American girl...

Coined in France

In 18th century France, novelists hailed getting lost in their own city as the epitome of finding oneself. Accompanied by a single coin to decide their binary fate, they would leave their twists taken around the city to the whims of its spin through the air. Westminster Street. The mouth...

A Musician’s Struggle

These past few weeks, I’ve spent an embarrassing number of hours in the piano practice rooms. I’ve probably spent an average of 10 to 12 hours a week practicing piano, which is more time than I put into any of my other classes. It’s just a vibe, I tell myself....

Autumn Leaves

Where I come from, the leaves are always green. Even in the coldest days of winter, I always look up and see the sky cut into mismatched sections framed by branches that are ornamented with green. The irregular pavements usually only get a blanket of fallen foliage after a storm;...

Glimpses of Tokyo

The plane ride from Hong Kong was a mere four hours, but I was still a bit groggy from my nap during the flight. We walked through the airport, through the streets, and somehow, led by trusty Google Maps, arrived at the train station. It took us about 20 minutes...

Roadtripping with Friends

Last spring I had the summer goal of taking a road trip with my friends. We floated ideas of driving to Los Angeles, to Yosemite, or even all the way across the country. But we couldn’t quite get ourselves together to organize anything considering we were all in different places...

Breathe (but not too deeply)

Summer, 1983. You’re wandering the blissfully lush hills of Bergamo alongside your newest fling, a foreign scholar who has whisked you off your feet. The ethereal voice of Sufjan Stevens resounds over everything in sight. You breathe in the most invigorating breath of mountain air that cleanses all bodily impurities...

Japanese Ramen

When we think of ramen, we often think of the instant kind: quick, unhealthy, and perfect for the typical college student at midnight after hours of studying. For the longest time, this was my perception of ramen as well. But despite the popularity of instant ramen, this perception doesn’t do...

Gods of the Wave

One footstep down in the auditorium—herein lies the first wave. If you put an ear down to the ground, you’ll feel it. Hear it. It travels through the earth to ring! ring! ring! Peel your cheek off the dusty floor and listen instead for the second wave. Close your eyes—your...

Living Deliberately

At the start of my junior year, instead of returning to my high school, where I would have no doubt been inundated by SAT prep sessions, obsessive college rankings, and the ultra-ambitious, sleep-deprived, and panicked energy of high-achieving sixteen-year-olds, I found myself sleeping under a tarp in the San Juan...