This morning's run was full of small pleasures (and oddities). After about half a mile, I started up the run's only truly grueling hill. Each week I run a little bit further up the hill, in the hopes that eventually I'll be able to get to the top, and it won't seem quite so bad. Today, on my way down I looked curiously at a man sitting outside a little gardening shack. There was an overpowering smell of smoky barbecue, and the man was sifting through a big pile of ash and charcoal and separating out some bits into a basin. What were they? I passed to fast to tell.
Back on the flat land again, I amused myself for a while by looking at the progress of a giant concrete bridge that's spanning the valley where I run. This time I managed to keep at least some attention on the road, so I did not twist my ankle as I usually do. Further down the road I noticed a new structure had gone up in one of the gardens near the road. It was the semi-circular frame of a greenhouse, made entirely out of green bamboo. By the time I got to the Buddha park, I was deep in thought, counting the months, weeks, and days until my parents' visit in May. I was startled by a rustling in the bushes planted around the Buddha statue. I soon saw the culprit - a pheasant fluttered up out of the greenery with it's long tail feathers flowing gracefully behind it. On the way back to the apartment, I snatched a few glimpses of a small Korean deer running up a thickly forested hillside.
As I entered the last leg of my run, I heard some rousing music. The closer I got to Doekpo, the louder the music got. For some reason, they were playing this bizarre Korean polka music over the loudspeakers in the town. So instead of being accompanied by the soothing sound of the waves, the last part of my run was to the rousing rhythm of Korean pop.
I documented all this just so you know (and so I remember) that even something as ordinary as a morning run is filled here with a variety of pleasant, yet often baffling, moments.