Good Afternoon

Things didn’t start too well. When La Serpiente woke up and started screaming, we tried to placate her with the promise of her current favourite snack, cheese and crackers. But she’s already eaten all the crackers in the house, and a toasted cheese sandwich with the crusts cut off was rejected out of hand as "not crackers". (Weeping and howling followed.). Rushing around to try to sort things out, I opened a door that Destroyer was standing right behind, and then we had two weeping kids.
Eventually they settled down on this rainy afternoon, to watch cartoons on Netflix, and I went out to meet a friend at the local play gym. After I stocked up on booze, we abandoned his wife and two children there and took a taxi to Bedok Reservoir.

Bedok Reservoir is one of the largest bodies of water in Singapore, and a fairly major landmark on the east side of the island. Therefore we were a little dismayed that our driver professed no knowledge of it, and muttered and complained (in between almost veering into a few other cars) on the way there. He was one of those taxi uncles who are profoundly offended that your choice of destination isn’t perfectly convenient for him. Usually, the Mercedes drivers are quite happy and polite (they charge more per mile, so they should be) but this was a grumpy, mid-50s wannabe gangsta in a off-brand Kangol cap playing a questionable range of 90s pop on his stereo, and tutting.

We were going to Bedok Reservoir for a race. The inaugural club handicap, a 5k sprint around the reservoir, with people setting off every 20 seconds or so, in an order decided by their recent performance. This was a lot of fun: a big mob of people all running at once is something, but that means the fast people tear off at the start and everyone else follows. This way round, the slower runners go first and get cheered on by people who might eventually overtake them, and if the handicapping has been done accurately, everyone finishes at about the same time. It’s more enjoyable if everyone gets to the end at the same time, I think. Less hanging around waiting for stragglers, less guilt at being the last one to finish, and all that good stuff.

There’s a small hill as you run round the reservoir which wasn’t something most people had trained for (because of logistics, nobody knew the venue or the route until Tuesday night) but apart from that it was pretty flat. There was the threat of a thunderstorm as we prepared to start, but instead things were just overcast and humid; not perfect, but far preferable to the usual blinding late afternoon sun.

I got off a good start; I finished the fastest in my bracket, and overtook a fair few people, which is always nice for the ego. Then I got to drink Hoegaardens and take a taxi home that wasn’t driven by an arsehole, so all in all the second half of the day outmatched the first. The kids still went loopy again when I got home, but that never changes.

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