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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

One of the many pleasures of London is to hear so many languages and accents of the world, often on a single street.

Step down into any Tube station, and you can see travel directions printed in scores of those tongues. Not only Bengali, Urdu, Tamil and Arabic, which have become as common on signs in London as Spanish in many U.S. cities, but French, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese and other languages of the European Union.

He's a crazy-haired populist who was born in New York and nearly split his conservative party, but appears to have come out on top.

He's wealthy, but appeals to working-class voters. He's tough on immigration, and keen to point out President Obama's Kenyan heritage. Lots of people call him by his first name only. He once starred on TV.

He's not Donald Trump.

He's Boris Johnson, who was the mayor of London until he stepped down last month. Now he could become the United Kingdom's next prime minister.

After college, I spent some years wandering on the cheap around South America, ending up teaching English in Rio de Janeiro. Eventually, I left Rio and headed to northeast Brazil meeting up with an old girlfriend who flew in from the U.S. We had plans to continue on to Belem at the mouth of the Amazon and then travel the length of the river to Colombia.

But everything fell apart very quickly. First, while camping with her on a beach, my passport and all my hard-earned cash from Rio were stolen. Next, I came down with hepatitis and was incapacitated for a month.

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