Our training coordinator Oscar once told my training group that he wakes up at 4:30 every morning to go for a walk. He told us how meditative that time of day is, when the city is still quiet and dark. We all laughed when he said he likes to explore the city, rather than go to the park and do laps; apparently park laps are popular amongst old people, and you spend your whole exercise time saying “Buenos días” and “A diós” over and over and over again. This idea killed me, so I resolved to get up early for a run one day.
Today was that day. My alarm went off at 5:15. I snoozed until 5:20. I finally pulled myself out of bed at 5:30 to lace up. As I reached the park on my warm-up walk, I was disappointed to see that there was only one person doing laps, and it was a young man running. Running laps has never been my style, so I continued, planning to just do loops on the paved roads in town.
The air was filled with roosters crowing. Incredible numbers of roosters crowing. As I walked by people cleaning their patios, the sounds of their brooms on the pavement would just barely be audible over the loud morning song. A couple noises that are normally a part of the town’s cacophony but were notably absent were motocarro engines (there were a few out, but they weren’t yet out in droves) and loud music blaring. As I rounded a corner at the end of my run, I was startled by the sound of a saw, and realized that there was a butcher shop that I’d never seen because it’s always closed by the time I normally walk by. There were several men huddled around many cuts of meats hanging from the ceiling in there.
The streets were relatively easy to maneuver at this time of day, with the principal traffic being buses picking up people for Barranquilla, and one cow. I also noticed that the loose dogs in town were really up and at ‘em this morning. I assume that’s just because it’s the cooler time of the day, so it’s a good time to get up and look for food, while midday they’re all just passed out in whatever shade they can find. As my run came to an end, the streets began to fill with students heading to school; the morning block starts at 6:30.
I’m curious how town looks at 4:30. But I’ll never see that unless it’s because I’m still up from the night before.
*This is a whole different conversation, but I will say that it was a particularly dragged out piropo, probably because there was no one around to make the man aware of what he was doing.