I.

It's daybreak.

I walk up the hill behind the marketplace, which will soon be crowded with morning shoppers on motorbikes. Young men shout, attempting in vain to direct two trucks travelling in opposite directions through the narrow dirt street. An old man watches, a cigarette sits lazily on his lips, the smell of fresh meat wafts past from the open-air butcher.

Overlooking the market, past the stalls selling dried salty fish, there is a network of small winding roads leading to even smaller, windier roads. There are houses, hairdressers, two-tabled restaurants and a school. On the streets are stray cats, roaming chickens and a man ringing a bell as he pushes a bubur ayam (chicken porridge) cart, serving those who are freshly woken and hungry.

It's too early for school but a group of four boys - no older than five - huddle together. They stare up at the sky with a look of anticipation and wonder. Their eyes widen with excitement as a trio of robins dart past. Agile and quick, each bird takes turns to lead. They playfully duck and weave in their group before they relax and are swept up by the breeze. The boys break into rapturous applause, a cacophony of joyous shouting; they celebrate as the birds fly freely.



Vol II
Vol III
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