Hemmed in by stonewalls precise and systematic, made impressive by slough and slew, Cochin, a city of islands, recedes and rises like its waterline, on the Kerala coast of South India. The city undulates, ensconced between hulls of sisal and coir, etched with stone markings of former visitations—Chinese, Arab, African, Persian, the sounds of Portuguese, the signs of Hebrew. To live in Manhattan is to live through the memories of other port cities one has inhabited: Dar es Salaam, Cochin, Recife. Dutch urban planning, Portuguese architecture, indigenous storytelling: to write about Cochin is to write through the histories of Batavia, Macao, Hoi An, Aceh, Malacca, Aleppo, Manhattan. The stories that shape Cochin precede modern theorizations of globalization, where periodization narratives locate the escalation of globalization in the colonial and industrial periods embodied in modern forms of travel: the train, plane and automobile; speed and modern forms of capital.