He started up the railway with disdain in his heart. For what? The powers at large, of course. Why would megalomaniac America be first when it was clearly last. Worse than last. It missed the boat. The world will drag it at its heels, it won’t get left behind, no.

He thought these things as he reached the second floor of the cafe. Small chai mocha. No cream. No room. Never room. Always empty but somehow never any room. In China an apartment runs for a few hundred USD a month. In the capital, a few thousand, to tens of thousands. China and America–wed in socioeconomic inequality.

He sipped his latte and was warmed by the warmth. The world was not collapsing today.

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