Behind me, another motorbike zips round the curves of the mountainside. My friend Niko is driving, with Tessa on the back. Tessa is a dear friend from childhood who is doing a Southeast Asia loop with me. We just met Niko The Crazy German at a hostel in Hoi An and have been traveling with him for a few weeks. In the mornings, Niko and I head to the roof of our cheap hotel for exercise: he is teaching me boxing, and I am showing him yoga. All three of us are artists and musicians, and we often sing and draw together.
Over the din of my motorbike I can just barely hear Niko from his scooter belting out our favorite song, a catchy hip-hop song perfect for easy harmonies. Despite the breeze, it’s excruciatingly hot, and my sweaty shirt sticks to me.