Friday, July 18, 2008

Fly off the handle?

Went to bed early last night after a much-needed luxurious Friday night in my apartment reading and watching movies and just chilling in the aircon. So I woke up even before my alarm this morning already for my third workout in the Couch to 5K running program I started this week. I was pumped.

I've been running in the park near my house. I pass this park everyday on my walk to work. It's nice--it has areas for practicing all kinds of sports, benches for people to relax on, and crazy funny equipment. In the evenings there are aerobics classes for housewives and games of soccer-volleyball. There are always lots of people gathered there--old men playing go-stop, middle school boys practicing basketball, girls rollerskating. It's one of my favorite parts of the neighborhood.

So I went out there this morning, and it was really no different--a man and his mother playing tennis, an elderly couple talking on one of the benches (the man smoking right next to the track--ah irritations), and a group of old men talking in the shade.

About halfway through my run, I notice the group of old men getting worked up about something. Two of them stand up and start pushing each other and shouting. After one of them breaks a bottle on the ground in a fit of rage, I stop jogging fully around the track and avoid the part they are near. I feel a little helpless because as a foreigner I can't really understand what's going on, but I notice a woman on the phone with what I assume are the police as these guys are getting pretty worked up. Most other people in the part are at least glancing at them, though most are minding their own business.

All of a sudden one of the guys has a broom. He smashes it into a tree to break off the head and then starts beating the other man (who is now on the ground not even bothering him anyhow) with the wooden handle. Some of the other men in the group seem to be trying to stop them, but no one is very successful.

It was scary and depressing. Again, I felt useless.

By the end of my workout, they seem calmer, but it still disturbs me. Running feels great, but today I am mixed up about it.

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