An Early Morning

I was awake at 4.18am. The animal noises and birdsong made it almost impossible to go back to sleep.

At 6.30am I ventured outside. It had rained overnight and the sky was still grey. Children were splashing barefoot through the puddles and women chatted as they walked down to the paddy fields.

As we ate breakfast, the rain began again. In the hut opposite, a women huddled in the doorway with two young children. She cast anxious glances at the sky. With only a month to go before the monsoon, every rainfall could mean rising water levels.

We waited at the shore for the ferry. I had a sudden thought.

“How do people get around the island during the monsoon?”, I asked Apu.

“With boats, of course”, he replied. “They put their bicycles and motorbikes away and they row everywhere”.

Then the ferry arrived and it was time for us to leave.

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