The tour guide at the United Nations building is dressed distinctively in an ethnic Indian costume. Claudia is searching for a way to be recognized for her own uniqueness, so the tour guide's exotic look appeals to her.
The tour guide is an Indian girl who wears a sari and has her very long hair styled in a single braid that hangs "down her back to well below her waist". Her walk appears to be "flavored by her costume"; her steps are short and light, and when she moves she lifts the folds of her sari with one hand, causing it to move prettily around her knees. The guide's skin is a "smoky topaz" color, and she speaks with an interesting accent.
Claudia is intrigued by the girl because she has concluded that "saris are a way of being different". Wanting so desperately to stand out and be recognized, Claudia considers doing one of two things when she is grown up - she can stay the way she is and move to a faraway place like India where no one looks or dresses as she does, or she could dress like someone else, like the tour guide, for example, and still live in "an ordinary place like Greenwich (Chapter 8).