Sunday, November 25, 2012

Observations While Running: The Good, The Bad and The Smelly.

The rice fields at the edge of our neighborhood.  I smile every time I pass them...except for that one time when I was being chased by a dog!  True story...

Condemnation warning: I realize that I am writing this post involving exercise just a few days after Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving: i.e...the day we all ceremoniously stuff ourselves silly in the name of all-things-American.  The temptation might be to groan while you read this and look at your growing belly and wonder why you aren't out there walking/playing football/playing dodge ball/running marathons/fill-in-the-blank with something somewhat athletic.  Well, believe me, I would love to pull up a chair and sit with you while you down your third piece of leftover pecan pie (which, BTW...aren't Thanksgiving leftovers the best?  my son ate sweet potato casserole for breakfast this morning - he's so hardcore).  Anyway...I am certainly not in this whole running phase to serve out condemnation or comparison to anyone who reads about my journey.  So, pass the condemnation and bring on the pie, people!  Oh, and...keep reading.

As I run around the neighborhood throughout the week, I am beginning to notice several things that I didn't before.  I am convinced that my senses are being awakened as my body threatens to give out on me as I run.  I think my sense of sight and smell are just trying to hijack my sense of "I'm so tired I could take a nap right here on the asphalt." are a few things I have observe as of late.  I love my neighborhood:

The Good:
* The morning sun peeking through the clouds is simply gorgeous.  I am glad, though, that it has been hiding, because the Thai sun can be quite unforgiving and horribly hot. 
*  I have seen more types of flowers and landscaping ideas as I make my rounds.  I am inspired to make my home and yard more visually inviting to people come pass by or stop for a visit.  Now, if I just had time to do it all...
*  The aroma of all those flowers literally gives me an extra boost of energy.  Magnolia and jasmine blooms are my faves.
*  There is the cutest little 2-year old girl that takes a walk with Grandma every morning.  Thai caregivers sometimes follow their little ones around with a bowl of food because the kid just doesn't want to sit that long for a meal.  Bite.  Run.  Bite.  Play.  Bite.  You get the idea.  I love to always turn the corner and see her trying to evade her Grandma's attempt at feeding her breakfast.  It makes me giggle.
*  Passing the rice fields still makes me feel like I am in another world. 
*  At the very back of our neighborhood, a man always has his roosters out in the street in these portable cages as he cleans out their coop.  This, at first, seemed so funny and foreign to me...but then I remembered the suburban roosters of downtown Waco (where we used to live) and then I remember the ghetto.  Funny how that connection works.  Roosters = ghetto.  You get it, right? 

The Bad:
*  I have been chased by dogs and scared silly numerous times by ones that sneak up on my behind their fence and let out a huge howl or bark.  I am sure my neighbors have laughed at my antics after being startled.  I am pretty easy prey.
*  A few weeks ago, as I was approaching a tree that normally has these huge, long seed pods scattered over the ground, I almost ran over a snake.  As in, with my feet, not my car wheels.  I felt like an expert hurdler as I screamed bloody murder and leaped over the approaching snake that I had thought was just a seed pod in the road.  Last I checked, seed pods don't wriggle on the ground and bite.  Yikes.  I wish I had that on video.   Maybe not.

The Smelly:
*  I know where all the smelly dogs live.  Their poop smell is evident.  If I don't hold my breath in time to miss the smell, at least I have motivation to run past those houses as fast as I can.  Yuk.
*  Since many Thais don't eat the traditionally-sweet food that Americans eat in the mornings, they eat just about the same thing in the mornings that they would all day.  I smell curry, other spicy dishes, meat and rice steaming while on my runs.  Yum.  But, I would take a cinnamon roll over curry any day.  Thus, one of my reasons for exercising!
*  Thai housekeepers, moms and grandmas wake up earrrrly to hand wash or machine wash their clothes in order to hang-dry them in the midday sun.  I can run by and smell who's been diligent to wash clothes that day and who hasn' house would be included in the "hasn't" category.  I'm simply not thinking of laundry yet at 7 o'clock in the morning!

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