Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Winter Sunshine

What a day it's been so far. Ok so i havent blogged yet about yesterday when i went to the school to watch classes for the first time, that'll have to wait for tomorrow. But something has changed dramatically in me over the last 2 days. Before saying what i did this morning, i'm going to describe the extent of my fitness and diet if this were a typical day back at Tai's house in Waddon:

I'd wake up really late from staying up late the night before, it would be freezing cold so i wouldnt want to get out of the double sleeping bag i fashioned. Eventually id spend the day freezing in my pyjamas and probably make some kind of greasy chicken and chips like the other lodger. Then if this was the 5% of days when enthusiasm for fitness was at its highest, i might just venture outside, hoping the vast cloud cover doesnt turn grey all of a sudden. Id maybe run for 15 or 20 mins alongside busy roads before being sick of it and going back to playing video games.

Now here's my Korean life for you. So i wake up and its lovely and warm in my room thanks to underfloor heating. I open the window and feel the chilli temperature of the air, but at the same time i see and feel the warmth of the sun in full view. After some cereal, i feel its time for a run. I avoid the quieter, more traditional markets and run along the main roads until 6 mins later i arrive at an olympic running track outside the 35000 capacity football stadium used during the Korean/Japanese Olympics a few years ago. Its maybe 11.45 and there's almost no one there. A couple of teenagers perhaps jogging very slowly now and again on the 100m track and thats about it. So i chuck the bag down and carry on running. After a few laps, i decide to have a go at the sports equipment on offer. Unlike gyms that require you to have training, these things are fixed into the ground with minimal intelligence needed to operate them (although one of them i still cant fathom?!) and you can do sit ups with ease on one and do this really easy spinny action on another (pictures to follow in a few days). I intersperse running with doing some exercises on these. Again, it's cold out but with the sun beaming down, it's really nice too. I could go weeks without actually seeing the sun in the UK. It might be slightly warmer there, but I find the Sun is such an inspiration and really gives me energy. When i was doing some exercises, a middle aged Korean lady in good shape came along with sports clothing and a scarf completely concealing her face. Might even have been a man for all i know. I thought she might be competition and might jog along with me but sadly just seemed to walk around the circuit. Then an older Korean man came along, and where as such people usually avoid looking at me, this man seemed to acknowledge my existence and i think wanted to use me to set his pace. So he ran along behind me for a lap. I moved to the outside lanes hoping he'd catch up with me and we might have a kind of conversation through mutual appreciation of jogging, but then he trailed off. I must have been running and exercising for over an hour and loved every second of it. After, i felt so good and confident, that despite wearing running trousers and a tshirt with long sleeves underneath and a back pack, i was quite happy to approach the 'mall' just 5 mins down the road.

One of the first places i saw for food was Paris Baguette. A note about this place - i love it! The food is so light and European in its style. And more to the point, i feel so at home there. I may not be French, but I feel like for Koreans to be eating there, they have to at the very least have some respect for westerners. I also feel like maybe me liking their food means more to them than a Korean liking it, because ive really eaten baguettes in and from Paris. One such a thing ive had a few times before is French style pizza bread, a long thin slice of bread with all kinds of toppings, mostly vegetables, like a large piece of garlic bread but with actual pizza flavour. That cost £1 and a carton of milk was about 35p. Truly a bargain. Everything is presented so beautifully as well and its clean and nice to sit in. Next i had a wander around the mall but nothing i wanted was there. Did see a Vietnamese restaurant that i will be returning to.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable couple of hours and one i hope to do a few times a week until fitness returns.  

No comments: