October 11, 2006
see how she runs.
In this strange place, I have started doing some things that for me, are also very strange. With a curry belly under construction and a life that is work-sleep-eat, plus the occasional boozy balmy night thrown in when yet another person leaves town, I have started jogging. It is my new hobby. I even bought a new pair of shoes for the occasion. I take my new hobby very, very seriously.
The temple down the road has just purchased a new sound system that they like to test out every morning at 5.30am. It's a very clear sound I have to say, and it's a very useful alarm clock. I am now, by default, a morning person.
I jump out of bed, pull on some black cotton-lycra-mix clothes, my new pair of jogging shoes, push in some headphones and off I go down the street. Past the old lady at the end of the road making breakfast, along side some girls with their long black braids and super white uniforms riding bicycles on their way to school and dart through some stray cows that have wandered onto the road.
I make a left at the broken temple on to the road that runs along side the lagoon. The fisherman are just waking up and rubbing their eyes, untangling their nets and loading their canoes. I can see across to the other side of the lagoon to the Riveria guest house where I first stayed when I arrived here and where I have been many times since to eat fresh crab curry and drink iron-gut local gin. The sky is pink and new and the place seems almost peaceful. The kids are awake and running around some half constructed houses in their underpants. Sometimes they scuttle away as I run past, but sometimes they giggle and wave. I always wave back and think, 'fuck! I can't believe those houses aren't finished yet. Hey sorry kids...'
By the time I get to the Merlin Office and turn right, I'm struggling to keep running. My face is red. I look a sight. My steps are small. I keep my eye on the small bridge and the stinking pile of rubbish at the bend ahead. Once I pass that I just have to get to the shop on the corner that sells fresh bread and I'm on my last stretch.
I get to the end of the road and turn right onto the main road. There's more traffic now and I have to compete with old men ambling along, the motorbikes, the tuk-tuks and the cars. This is the ugly part of my new hobby. The road is dusty and dirty and the sun is getting angry. I make it to the big temple on the corner and turn left, back down the street I came. Back past the old lady, who is eating breakfast by now, and into the lane that my house is on.
I fall through the gates. Drink some water. Drag myself up the stair and stand under a cold shower until the rest of the house wakes up and needs to use the bathroom.
I sit and eat some cereal that I carried in my damn bag all the way over here, look out the window and congratulate myself on my new hobby that, for half an hour (or 45 minutes if I'm a bit boozy and have to walk some of the way) makes me think this place is a peaceful, pretty little fishing village.
Posted by catherine at October 11, 2006 5:54 PM
Every city has it's moment of peace.
Posted by: Nat at October 14, 2006 9:47 AM
hey - i forgot to mention that I've been jogging a lot lately. So there will be no reason to stop when you return to Perth. My journey is through blossoms, wafting cooked sausage, variously sized dogs and their beckoning owners, over paving, roads and mown nature strips...
I circle the oval four times before turning to weave back to my apartment as the sky is almost blackened.
I want a house and fruit trees Catherine, will you move in with me?
Posted by: Nat at October 17, 2006 5:44 PM