There are only two seasons in this country, the dusty and the wet. I already know the dusty and I’ll get to know the wet. I’ve seen worse. I’ve seen Baghdad, Bombay, Queens–and now this moldering spread deep in Mayan country, Aztecs, Toltecs, mestizos, even some bashful whites with German accents. All that and a lot of Texans. I’ll learn the ropes.
Forget the extradition order, I’m not a sinful man. I’ve listened to bad advice. I’ve placed my faith in dubious associates. My first American wife said, in the dog-eat-dog, Alfred, you’re a beagle. My name is Alfie Judah, of the once-illustrious Smyrna, Aleppo, Baghdad–and now Flushing, Queens–Judahs.
–by Bharati Mukherjee