After three long hours, the shopping trip seemed interminable to the small, tired girl. She found the footpath's labyrinthine twists and turns completely confusing. Her ears were glutted with the cacophony around her: blaring music competed with the chatter of excited teenagers. The steady pneumatic drill from an adjacent construction site completed the barrage.
The girl's mother squeezed her hand as they passed a dingy alley where a stray dog nosed through boxes of scraps in the dim shadows. Pungent smells, some faint, some myraid, wafted to her. The oily aroma of a nearby Carl Jr's mingled with the perfumed bouquet of a BodyShop, almost cloistered from view behind white scaffolding. The diesel fumes of the passing buses, blown into her eyes on the blustery wind, made the girl's eyes water. The same wind was responsible for the brown haze which shrounded the tops of the skyscrapers. Although the girl was too young to express her feelings in terms the world would have understood, her misery represented the quintessential argument against the greed of unchecked development.
A cloud had indeed fallen across this illustrious city which had once been famous for its modern beauty.