Singapore Adventure

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I Was Born To Run... I Was Born To Dream...
by venitha

Driven to the great outdoors by my condo's broken treadmill, I mop the sweat from my brow and remind myself of advantages of this situation...
    I get to use all my pretty handkerchiefs. Jim assures me that I am highly fashionable with a colorful handkerchief tied round my wrist: "You look like you're in ." My favorites are delicate batiks from Thailand, but I also have a colorful hibiscus batik from Malaysia, a blue nankeen block print from Shanghai, and an Aboriginal dot pattern from Australia. I wish I could find a handkerchief in the over-popular Singapore Airlines fabric [pictured] to round out my collection.

    I don't have to loop. To combat the negative attitude I'm always accused of (can't imagine where you all get this idea), I've been concentrating lately on the positives unique to my life in Singapore, and along with cheap sushi, this one pegs the scale. No loops, no out-and-back, no limiting my route to accommodate Jim's shorter running time. It's completely liberating! I can end up wherever I want and take inexpensive public transportation home. And, of course, this means...

    I make lots of friends on the bus. As popular as I am in general (no one ever wants to sit by the ang moh), you can just imagine the boost to my self-esteem that's provided when I'm drenched in sweat. In my defense, I inhabit the standing area when I'm in my post-run glow, and I do my best not to touch my fellow passengers. True, there was that incident when I lost my balance stretching... So, really, it's not so much that I make friends as that I provide entertainment, which I feel is my duty since everyone likes staring at me so much.

    I might discover a dead body. Seriously! Monday morning, a body was found floating in the Singapore River at UOB Plaza, a favorite on my running route because of its chubby Botero sculpture. The picture in the paper shows the man floating face down, so I can't be sure, but I have this strange feeling that it's Winston.

    I get more time to pick fights with Jim, my oldest running partner, and more time to gossip with Andrea, my newest running partner. Unfortunately, I still miss the super cute floppy ears of my most faithful running partner.

    It's excellent incentive to get out of bed in the morning. Part of me wants to be supportive of my working spouse and to keep a similar schedule; but the rest of me smothers that bitch with my pillow, rolls over, and goes back to sleep. Attempting to beat the heat, or at least the sun, motivates me to arise with my beloved in June Cleaver-like wifely perfection. Of course, it's all downhill from there, unless, of course, Andrea makes me run up Mt Emily.

    I no longer have to listen to Don Quixote. Safety dictates no ipod when playing in traffic, so I've been saved from forty over hours of complete inanity. What was I thinking?

    I am finally starting to - gulp! - acclimatize. After only one month - can it really be? - the outdoor weather is ever-so-slightly less miserably hot. Unfortunately, the indoor air-con is more than making up for it at the other extreme. What are they thinking?

    I'm getting an invaluable city orientation. If taking an exacto knife to a street guide was a great leap forward, running through downtown Singapore is a long jump worthy of . And she's definitely on steroids, too, because either I'm getting bigger (a tragic likelihood in spite of all this running) or Singapore is shrinking: I can cover a shocking amount of this city in a one-hour run.