The outdoor waiting room of the bus station in Nogales, Sonora was under a high metal roof with horticultural shade screens bungeed to the two-story posts. It had three rows of ripped-out bus seats, with about a dozen or so recently deported migrants slouched wide-eyed in the afternoon heat, some of them eating chicharrónes soaked in hot sauce and lime juice. I sat down in the second row and watched a teenage boy, the son of the woman who ran the food stall, whistle and tease a small parrot in a cage. His two younger siblings, a girl about five and a boy about three, rescued an injured sparrow they found in one of the spidery, cat-piss corners, and then spent a half an hour squeezing and petting the poor bird, screaming at it when it tried desperately (and ineffectively) to fly away until the kids’ mother came over to… More…

One hot and, for Hamburg, uncharacteristically sunny afternoon we turn left out the door of our apartment building and head toward the Innenstadt for a bit of shopping — “downtown,” that is, and not the “inner city” of a literal translation. Down the Rothenbaumchaussee and then cross to cut through Dammtor station; up and over the flying bridge that comes down by the Holocaust memorial, past the Livotto Eis gelateria and then the opera house, through the Gansemarkt and along Jungfernstieg, the city’s Fifth Avenue promenade; past the Alster Pavilion café, in whose band Brahms’ father had played the horn. We’ve been here a week and we’re looking for sheets, and perhaps predictably we end up not at Karstadt’s or the Alsterhaus — not at the German stores — but at Habitat. Half the staff seems to be 20-something Brits speaking German; the others are Germans speaking English. We find… More…