Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Running... OUTSIDE!!! and my inaugural rickshaw ride

Last night the intrepid Jill invited me to go running with her in a "field nearby." After dressing appropriately (no legs or upper arms visible), we got into a rickshaw. My first time!!!

It was a little like flirting with death, as we zoomed along the streets with our faces and upper bodies open to the wind and this poor man in front of us pedaling away. (Btw - Jill is blonde and built like a Viking goddess.) To the right is a picture I took from the Bengali Student Association Rickshaw Project (http://umrickshaws.blogspot.com/2008_10_01_archive.html), as I amazingly still do not have a picture of these three-wheeled instruments of potential grievous bodily harm. I kid, I kid. The wind is quite refreshing when you ride on one of these guys.

So we got to the field, and the good thing is that the grass is cut. The bad thing is the presence of goats, and goat poo, which I had to dodge as I did laps. It took about 200 steps to jog around the part of the field we chose.

Jill and I had agreed to do 30 minutes, but within half that time we had attracted a bunch of street kids, who were first content to try to block one of us, then the other. Then they discovered the bamboo poles on the ground, and attempted to use those to make an obstacle course for us. I ignored them and ran past, but at one point I had to stop and fiddle with my iPhone (on my armband), and they all ran over and I did a little demonstration before booking it to Jill and telling her we had to go because it was getting dark.

(Here's the rest of the field, and Jill about to leave the frame)

We attracted some more people -- this time grown men -- as we left the field. They hung around as we debated whether or not to cross the street to get a CNG. They followed us when we crossed the street. They followed us some more when we got annoyed and started walking up the street. They followed us right up to the moment we clambered into a rickshaw.

"I don't mind the kids," said my Viking companion, "but the grown men are a different story."

All in all: a nice run, but I could've done without the posse.