In the purple morning. At 4.30. Which is when the men who pick lotus flowers on the shores of West Lake rise, rub their eyes, and punt their rafts out into the leafy water where the flowers grow. And the morning really is purple. Purple, veiled in mist with only a few lights twinkling through from the opposite shore, and silent except for distant boats gliding across the water, the hum of dragonflies and the soft footsteps of the morning's first exercisers.