Saturday, May 4, 2013

May 3, 2013

Friday's run was a special eight miler. It involved a creative way to get more people to run with me. The trick was for me to design an out and back run to Vasant Vihar, the old neighborhood. That way I got my long run, friends who live in VV got their run and everyone was happy. I had tried it the week before but due to some unclear communication and some Keystone Cops style circular movements around the meeting point, which resulted in no meet up, I ran the whole route by myself.

This time, a more clear meet up point (with a different, less circle-y walking friend) and it was pure success! The run to the Veevs was uneventful, except for a small dead end on the access road and some doubling back. Upon arriving to the old dong (Korean word for neighborhood, which seems ingrained as my default now, for obvious reasons) I was greeted by a procession of at least 15 holy cows. I met Jess at the rendezvous point and didn't even have to break stride:

ME(from a small distance): Good morning!
JESS: Good morning. Gonna stop?
ME(approaching): Don't have to...
JESS: Alright, let's go.

And we were off. We ran from my old neighborhood market, past the road to the shopping center with the "good" grocery store and the restaurants, the inroads to friends' houses, the local park where I went to my first Dushera, past the site of the theater where I saw my first Bollywood movie and back to school. Which is now also home. Two years ago we started living on campus in what most of us affectionately call "The Bubble."

I started to wax nostalgic for my old "dong." I loved living in Vasant Vihar for several reasons. While I love the convenience of living on campus (75 second commute, running home to visit my son, living extremely close to friends), I also loved living away from school. Living in an Indian neighborhood helped me feel like I really lived in India. There was always a lot to see, like today's cows, for example. Living off campus forced me to explore a bit more. A friend and I challenged ourselves to visit the sites we passed every day (the theater, a local temple, the Sunday market). In fact, I started to take my camera with me in the car to capture the sights of daily Delhi. I've included some of those images in this post for posterity's sake, including the elusive "Five on a Bike!"

I loved living off-campus, but I don't regret the move to school. Perhaps, one of the reasons I love running in Delhi so much comes from this same place. I obsessively map runs that take me past cool sights, down new roads or through areas where people are living their daily lives. It helps me get out of the bubble of work/school and see what's to be seen. It helps remind me why I've chosen the international lifestyle.

The Effigy Burning of Ravana
One of the VV cows

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ON A BIKE!

Distance - 8 Miles
Time - 1:12:22
Soundtrack - Beastie Boys, deep cuts and rarities

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