I love the change of key at the moment it starts to rain in Southeast Asia. The day gradually accelerates as the rain falls harder; voices crescendo and become more urgent. Everything becomes blurred and slightly slanted, like poetry. At Station Sentral in Kuala Lumpur, suitcases hit the ground more forcefully, taxi drivers yell “Jalan, Jalan!” and wave their arms, people run across the street covering their heads with newspapers or hands. I stand under a shop awning with a Malaysian woman who is wearing a bright pink, beautifully embroidered head covering. She looks out at the rain, surprised, calls out “aiii…!” when it increases, looks over at me and laughs. You would think they’d be used to it by now, but it has this beginning kind of magic every time.


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