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  • Went for a swim when I got up. I rarely exercise in the morning. The internet steals any spare time as I try to play catch up on what I think I missed during the night.

    The hotel air con hummed unnecessarily. I took the lift to floor 18 and then walked the concrete steps to the top. There was a great view across the damp city and the old couple in the hot tub soon left, leaving the roof to me.

    I swam a few laps. Soaked a bit and then descended back to shower and have breakfast. Felt good.

    I'm still getting used to hotels. A strange homogenized view of the world. I breakfasted in the lobby but also feasted on any smile I saw. Strange how lonely cities can be.

    Full of egg and Turkish bread I headed into the grey. A backpack of my essentials. Laptop, tablet, cables, batteries, camera, audio recorder, headphones. Mostly just in case and no doubt more than i’ll need.

    The rain was heavy and I reluctantly spent a plastic 10 dollars on a cheap looking umbrella. I asked the shop keeper if it was worth it. His nod wasn’t convincing. Three steps later I was looking up into a mass of twisted metal.

    I stepped back inside and took my money back. In a weak and pointless protest I left holding the waterproof note above my head. The shopkeeper watched me leave but didn’t laugh.

    Interestingly I was able to make the trip to the office with only a few glimpses of sky. Dodging the drips from shop to hotel to overpass. I felt smug having saved $10.

    The clouds were low and as I slid through the city I wanted to stop and take it all in.

    Down by the water I took a moment to steal a photo of a homeless guy as he stood gazing pensively out to sea. A morning meditation. Or the end of a cold night awake.

    He had his essentials. A bed roll wrapped in plastic, water in an old wine bottle and a smart, well made umbrella trimmed with wood.

    As I took his photo he turned and saw me.

    Nervously I commented on him traveling light but being equipped with a lovely umbrella.

    “It’s all i need”. He said.

    I handed him the $10 I’d saved and carried on.

    This is an expensive town.
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