Saturday, July 16, 2011

Round and round in circles

I ran today, thirteen laps of the jogging trail in Victoria Park, while the rain drizzled without delivering on the Observatory's promise of torrential downpours.

The jogging trail is not particularly exciting, just a 600-metre ribbon of red tarmac encircling a grassy field in the middle of the park. Although to be fair, you don't want to be jogging round an exciting trail. Joggers, in the main, are uninterested by jumping across twenty foot gaps, or through blazing hoops, or away from man-eating tigers, so a flat path without pungee spikes or wild animals is probably a good thing. It's quite dull after you've run round it ten times. By the thirteenth circuit, you're either approaching a zen state of empty mindedness, or going quietly insane.

However, there was much to distract me. In the field there was a somewhat impromptu Indonesian festival - they had some tents, and a PA system, and a banner that read "Java Pavillion", and every time I ran past this, I thought about running over to tell them they had misspelt "Pavilion", but as I'm not fluent in bahasa and I didn't think English was their first language, it wouldn't be a fair criticism.

There was one awning for First Aid, where two bored people sat. I don't imagine there's much call for medical help when there's just a lot of people sitting on plastic chairs in a field, but who knows? Maybe I'd missed some major athletic endeavours earlier in the afternoon, when I'd been passed out on the bed, drooling over my face.

Near the end of the run, the Indonesians began to leave, and there were six police in attendance for crowd control, which seemed just as over the top as the medical tent, as it was just Indonesians wandering orderly out of the field in twos and threes, rather than a panicked mob of protestors flinging petrol bombs. But to be fair, the police did pause the Indonesians so that I could run without being obstructed, so that was useful enough

Maybe they weren't Indonesians. Maybe I should have stopped to ascertain their nationality, but (a) I was running, (b) they were coming out of a thing with a big sign saying "Indonesia" on it, and all the awnings had Indonesian names on them. Still, one can't generalise. Well, you can, and it does save some time, particularly when they all looked and sounded like Indonesians.

Apart from that, there were three men practising kung fu by the jogging trail. The particular style they were training in was "make the middle aged bloke look dumb when he tries to hit the octogenarian" which they seemed to be fairly good at. I contemplated running over and joining in, but you don't really want to be pummelled to death by a man who's more than twice your age. It plays hell with the marathon training schedule, for a start.

There was also: a bored security guard sitting in a chair, a shirtless man doing press-ups, and an elderly couple sitting next to fifteen maids. I wasn't sure if all the maids were employed by the elderly couple, which would seem excessive and inefficient, or if they were just all sitting in the same place by coincidence. Sunday is usually the day maids have off, so perhaps Grandma and Grandad Wong really like having fifteen women follow them around and cater to their every whim. When their only whim is to sit out in the park on a rainy day.

Afterwards, I went home, slept for two hours and then went to the comedy club, where a very fat Glaswegian heckled everyone. Mainly by shouting "yes" or "no" at inopportune moments, which doesn't seem to cohere with the idea of all Scots being amazingly funny natural raconteurs. Or at least that's what he thought he was.

And so, after a special sausage, to bed.


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