I finally ran outside this morning! (Mum – I felt perfectly safe and no one ran me over, so don’t worry). I felt how I imagined an animal feels when it escapes the (very comfortable, nicely air conditioned) zoo.
I certainly didn’t set any records as I think I stopped every 8 feet to take pictures. That being said, I enjoyed every minute of it. I was grinning like an idiot, looking around and enjoying the wind and sun. The Corniche is a wide boardwalk which runs along the waterfront for several miles. It kind of reminds me of the seawall only there are no trees, it doesn’t smell like the ocean, cars are constantly honking and fighter jets are flying overhead.
Sidebar: Those fighter jets scared the crap out of me. You hear them long before and after you see and they fly in pairs. No one around me was phased at all. I, on the other hand, nearly hit the deck when they flew overhead. I have since learned that there is a major American military airbase nearby and the planes are simply training. No biggie.
A final thought about my run. I went out dressed as I normally would when running in the summer at home: shorts and a t-shirt (I have been assured that this is ok), and found myself running towards a woman walking in her abaya and bushiyyah, her face and eyes invisible to me. I couldn’t help but wonder what she thought as she watched me. Did she think I was vulgar? Did she think I was a silly American, showing off? Or did she envy me and what I perceive as my freedom. I guess I’ll never know.