My lullaby of cricket chirps soon became one of passersby’s shouts and wailing ambulances. Rendered sleepless by the noise, I could not help bitterly questioning the necessity of shouting at three in the morning—after all, what relevant information could passersby possibly be sharing at this hour? My room had shrunk to half the size and my backyard had disappeared into a cobblestone maze of side streets. We had given up our peaceful country house for this? Three years later, I would not want to live anywhere else.