Waking up early is in my blood. Struggling to put my already damp sports bra on to my already sweaty body I remind myself where I am: Cat Ba Island. Skipping down the 6 flights of stairs I curse the broken elevator. Walk to the street and pick up the pace.
The streets are busy with locals. Motorbikes zoom to drop off kids at school, men at work and women selling coffee, I run. Ignoring the calls for a taxi or motorbike ride I run. To the beach, to the ridge where I am alone with my islands. My islands rest and wait and absorb the shock of the waves that lap them from the great sea. I’m alone as I stretch my tired muscles, as I climb the stairs I had just descended and as I round the corner and sit with a small Vietnamese woman who tells me hot coffee is just 10,000 dong. I sip my twenty-five cent brew and remind myself again and again.