a girl can get lost in your color and language and touristy crowds. sometimes that's just what a girl needs to do: get lost. there is a frenetic sadness in your air that is oddly comforting. i squeeze in to the standing-room-only muni. in the midst of the clamor of a busload of chinese, i find a safe and lonely place to let go. as we pull away from each stop, i am packed in tight and close with mothers and grandmothers and babies and old men. the bodies, while individually small and foreign, collectively provide a cushion of security and familiarity. each time our bus lurches forward from a stop, the recorded voice politely implores me in english, "please hold on." and each time i do the opposite. as we rush past the blur of your red lanterns, ancient neon signs, kitschy souvenir fronts and vegetable stands, my heart simultaneously breaks and inches toward wholeness.