Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A good walk, spoiled

I got up at 6:15 today, despite being out drinking gin last night, and went off for my morning constitutional. For the last week or so, I've been running round to Marina Bay, which doesn't involve any inclines apart from the occasional escalator. So today I thought I'd go to Fort Canning, run up the hill, run down again, and go home. I had an 8am phone call, which gave me plenty of time for a run, some cooldown time and a shower before heading to the office.

Perhaps I'd had too much gin; I found myself lost in Fort Canning, which for a small hill is quite a mean feat. I ran into dead ends, ran back out again, ran down the hill, didn't recognise anything apart from the sweet, marzipany smell of fumigation, and ran on.

I continued to not recognise anything until I got to Orchard Road, at about 30 minutes into my run. This would have been quite convenient if I'd brought my metro pass with me, but the only things I had were my shoes, my shorts and my water bottle, so I was going to have to walk home. I had 55 minutes to get home, get dressed, and get to the office.

I looked past the Shaw Lido on Orchard Road, saw only trees, and walked in the opposite direction. And I walked, and I walked, and I walked. I walked past the China Embassy (a charmless tank of a building, like a copy of every US Consulate in a war zone). I walked past the Tanglin Mall, and had a vague feeling I was going in the wrong direction. I looked up and around, but saw no sign of Marina Bay Sands. I saw the Consulate of Brunei. I think I must have passed the house of every ambassador to Singapore in existence.

I walked, and walked, and I walked. Very few people were out apart from me; a maid, walking three enormous dogs. A van, that had a sign proclaiming a "solution for housing foreign workers". A very occasional man walking to work.

After 45 minutes I found something I recognised. Unfortunately, it was a petrol station in River Valley, nowhere near home, and nowhere near anything I knew that would take me home. I carried on.

At about an hour, I saw signs for Clarke Quay. I trudged on, exhausted now (I'd had nothing to eat since 9:30 last night, or 9 kilometres ago). I passed the deserted precincts of Clarke Quay, crossed the bridge, shambled home, got through the door at 8:30, to the surprise and consternation of my wife. I was shattered.

On the positive side, I didn't need to have the phone call after all, and I've lost a pound in weight since yesterday. I was going to go for another run this evening, but thought better of it. Well, by then my wife had found a nest of demented termites in the flat and was beginning to freak out, and I thought it would be rude to leave her to face the insect invasion while I jogged around the Merlion for the umpteenth time.


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