I’ve officially been living Down Under for about a MONTH now.
Where did the time go? Well, from settling in, to a couple of weekend trips, learning to navigate public transportation, walk on the left side of the sidewalk and store aisles, order a Long Black or a Flat White, switch from Fahrenheit to Celsius, and other foreign measurements, try to understand all the tricky Aussie slang, this-that-and-the-other, here we are!
As I’ve casually mentioned before, it’s winter. But not Colorado winter. No snow. No sub-0 degree mornings (back on the Fahrenheit scale here). Just 40’s and 50’s with some wind and some rain. Mostly tolerable, especially since we are now on the upswing to Spring. September 1. Or is it 1 September? Regardless, no Solsticing here. And I’m counting the days to Spring.
I am happy to say that running has been feeling much better. After several runs with aches, pains, and just generally feeling not awesome, I think I can finally say I’ve worked out some of those kinks. I like when running feels more fluid. Still not up for any intense training, but at least each run is back to a relative comfort level.
Exploring local running “tracks” has been the most exciting! Last week, I ran a trail less than 2 miles from my house, and came across some wildlife that I realized I was completely inept in regards to my defense tactics: Kangaroos. Now, I should know exactly what to do when I come across bear, coyote, elk, deer, moose, mountain lion, etc. Running ANY trail in Colorado could put you face-to-face with one of these creatures, and you better know what to do! So, when I came across an entire mob of kangaroo, some a mere handful of yards away, some right on the running track, just staring at me, I was at a complete loss.
Do I find two sticks, clap them together, and make a lot of noise? Do I make myself as big as I can? Do I climb a eucalyptus tree? Do I back away slowly, silently? Do I play dead? Do I crouch under a group of trees, up on my toes, and make like a ball? No…that’s for lightening storms.
So, I did what anyone would do. I took out my phone and started taking heaps of pictures. All the while exclaiming under my breath, “No way,” “Unbelievable,” “Ohmygosh,” and the like.
I spotted a local walking on the trail coming toward me, so I thought I’d take a cue from him as I continued to take pictures. They clearly didn’t faze him at all, as he continued to walk, seemingly without notice of so many, so close.
I eagerly admitted my ignorance by asking right away, “Will they attack?” Hoping my American accent would justify my stupid question.
As if reading my mind, the first thing he asked was, “Where are you from?” Satisfied with my answer (“The States”) he said, they won’t attack unless they are cornered; which clearly they weren’t in that position on the top of Red Hill. They will typically just retreat as you approach. Shy creatures.
I moved on, discovering more as I ran. These looked ridiculously fake. As if they had been stuffed and placed on the track.
While probably not a big deal to Aussies, as they see kangaroo frequently, my mind is completely blown!