Running out of time / by Marek Charytonowicz

Early morning. Strong coffee on the steps of my hotel overlooking a small alley, still lazy. Smell of the incense sticks burned as a morning prayer at every doorstep mixes with smell of rubbish being collected by a woman in a traditional straw hat. Noise of that fix from the main road behind still hasn’t reached its normal daily level. Hotel owners passing by with little shopping for their breakfasts kitchens for tourists.

This is the best time of the day anywhere here, the rush hasn’t properly started yet, everything seems a bit lazy and slow. Despite of that, I’m already asked three times to buy pair of sunglasses and a very cheap lighter. I hate that and have no patience for this anymore although I’m still polite when refusing.

It makes me think of photographs of Fan Ho, Japanese genius of black and white who was capturing amazing images of old Shanghai. The world of Asia there was magical, covered in haze of early mornings with no foreigners in sight, busy with its own matters. I wish that old mood was still here in Asia as it used to be back in the days. Now all I’m finding is desperate marketplace trying to sell you anything and everything. Even rural areas are not immune to this and I must say I don’t like it at all.