Going for a walk

Going for a walk here in Singapore and in most SE Asian countries is the equivalent of going for a hike in western countries.

A simple thing like grabbing some food usually becomes an expedition, maybe not in Japan, but most Asian countries, most of the times there’s not really a sidewalk you can just stroll around, you usually share a road with cars, bicycles, motorbikes, and many many many people.

Sometimes there used to be a sidewalk, but people have parked their cars or opened some little stall or business on it, leaving pedestrians to share the road with the vehicles.

And on that road you have to jump, because there are big holes you could fall into, then go up and down, and climb a little hill, then some steps, and then down again, then avoid all the things they leave on the way, then jump, duck, parry, avoid the sewer, mind your head, say no to the tout, skip the homeless sleeping on the way, careful with the dog, mind the gap, mind your head again, careful with the stall, the fruit box on the floor, the person selling incense,  jump the drainage, left, right,  dodge the beggar, watch out for the bicycle, the chicken on the way, the little kids playing, then the cat, the motorbike and the person running towards you because he’s missing the bus.

What should be a simple walk, becomes a platform game, like Mario, jump, run, avoid the obstacle, careful not to fall into the whole, step on the turtle and jump again. 

It’s nice though, keeps you fit, keeps you active, keeps you alert, keeps the blood flowing, but sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I could clear my mind, turn off my reflexes, sometimes I wish I could just go for a walk, instead of a trek.

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