1. Explore. 
  2. Stay in neighborhoods you know well enough. You’ve only been here a few days so best to stick with the cobblestone and brick houses with shingled roofs you would stop to take photos of for Instagram but could never afford. Take the road well-traveled, the treaded path. Pray that their wealth shall be your safety net.
  3. Don’t run in summer afternoons. Avoid the heat. You don’t want to risk collapsing in the middle of the street, laying a cross on the Zebra’s crossing. 
  4. Don’t run past dark. The cool may be tempting but you know the demons come out once the sun dips down the horizon with its watchful eye. You need the protection of daylight. You’ve been avoiding the news but still you hear of new victims, people that look like you rushed to the ER for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, women wearing what you are wearing stripped of their dignity, robbed clean of their trust in men. You have heard too many stories to venture out to admire the dusk staining a city red. You only see blood. 
  5. Steer clear of congregating people. You don’t want to get involved, or at least be seen as getting involved in anything. If you smell like weed they might pin a charge on you. If you brush past the wrong people you might end up in the back of a white van or an ambulance. Do you have your rights memorized? Do you know where your insurance information is? 
  6. Run alongside crowds. Toward crowds. Make sure there are always people around you, not just in sight. Surround yourself so you can blend in any minute. Disappear. 
  7. Blast your music so you can’t hear your heartbeat. Let the drum beat replace the syncopation in your chest. Let the harmonies wash away the sweat running down your cheeks. Let the lyrics lift the sinking of your feet, fade away the hint of blood in your throat, unseize your strained calf muscles still in recovery. The music will take care of you.
  8. Turn down the music so you hear everything. No, don’t play music at all. Silence is your safety. 
  9. Watch where you’re going. Keep your head straight. Don’t look back. Meaning, don’t let them know you’re new. 
  10. Check your surroundings. Is anyone following you? Always plan alternative routes. Keep your GPS open for back-up plans. Look behind you. Swivel your head pretending you’re tango-ing with a ghost so you can sneak peeks of the person walking behind you. Don’t look suspicious. Listen for everyone’s footsteps. Is anyone matching yours? Be ready to make sudden turns. Be ready to cross the street. Be ready to speed up and pretend you’re a dasher. Be ready. 
  11. Bring as little as possible. Run light. Leave your jewelry at home. Now is not the time to give someone a reason to pin the blame on you. 
  12. Bring as much as you can. Bring a key, even if you don’t use one. Bring a pen. A pencil. Anything sharp you can wrap your fingers around tenderly into a weapon. Pray you will never need it but never be unprepared. 
  13. Improvise if you must. And aim for the soft parts of the body you get carded for in sports. Play dirty if you must. Remember, self-preservation is a human instinct. Remember, self-defense is a right. Meaning, you’re allowed to hit and run. Well, you’re already running. So just keep running. 
  14. War as little as possible. Sweat will soak and eat away at fabric. Let your skin breathe.      You do not want to pass out in the middle of a city, a forgotten secret swallowed by the concrete. Remember heat exhaustion will hit you like waves until you falter, until you melt into a memory lost to the public. Remember, no one knows you here. Even a stray drop of sweat can blind you momentarily and that is not a risk you want to take.
  15. Wear as much as you can. Wear a hat. Wear sunglasses. Wear a mask, if you can. Cover up every inch of your skin so you don’t get burnt, or tan. Cover up every inch of your face so they don’t recognize your small eyes as an “other.” Remember, you are lucky enough and privileged enough to be here but you are still Asian. You weave through crowds of white faces and squeeze past invisible doors but you are still Asian. Meaning, you can end up bruised, scarred. Meaning, you can disappear. Meaning, you might just dodge a bullet if you can convince them you look like one of them. 
  16. Make yourself bigger, more intimidating, less of a perfect victim. Puff up your chest without drawing attention to your boobs. In fact, you should have on the tightest sports bra you can still breathe in. Ruffle your hair. Round your fist. Remember how they taught you to flip a larger person when you were a little girl in self-defense class, how your black-belt instructor told you they don’t mess with crazy people. Remember the maniacal laugh you practiced for that high school play. Let them know you’ll put up a fight. You won’t go easy. You won’t go quietly. Turn them around. 
  17. Make yourself smaller. Invisible. Fold in your shoulders. Curl up your back and inhale the strain in your voice. Breathe in. Slip through the crowd like a snake. You are already petite by medical standards, even if Brandy Melville doesn’t have a size for you. Make yourself smaller. If they don’t notice you today you are safe for another day. 
  18. Remember, to them you are a woman. Meaning, they will blame you. Meaning, you are your worst enemy. 
  19. No matter what you do, keep running. 
  20. Have fun!