Tripping up in the world

You see this?

I didn’t.

And when the boat to which the above rope was tied was pulled by the sea…

And the invisible-to-my-eye rope lifted a few inches above the ground just as I was running by…

Well, you can guess what happened.

Yep. I fell flat on my face.

In front of, oh, about 30 fishermen who were readying the boat with nets, lines, and other fishing paraphernalia.

Of course, being the nice Turks that they are, a few started to rush toward me to help me up. However, my pride didn’t let me stick around for comfort. I was up and running before they reached me (saving my cries and expletives of pain until I was around the corner where the men couldn’t see me. Sniff).

It wasn’t the first fall I have taken when running in Istanbul.

This tripped me up in the spring:

Although, that fall I blame on the dog who I was trying to wrestle away from a street dog who interested her more than minding her owner’s ‘heel’ command. I was yelling ‘heel’, fumbling with one arm in my oh so stylish fanny pack for a treat to waft under Zoya’s nose to bribe her to listen and obey, and jerking on her leash with my other arm, all the while trying not to interrupt my pace.

Or look down at the ground, for that matter.

And, just like the rope, I didn’t see the uneven bricks.

And you know what happened next.

But at least that fall didn’t take place in front of an audience.

Unlike today’s.

(Two falls in one week…I am on some kind of roll…literally.)

This morning while out on our morning run*, the dog (as of the time of this writing, she is not name-worthy) decided to repeat the above paragraph’s scene and lunge toward yet another unsuspecting dog, pulling unsuspecting me yet again onto my cushier end…and, of course, in front of an audience.

(There’s something to be said for being a faceless stranger in a foreign place…or at least one can hope one is faceless…not sure how long this glorious, anonymous state will continue given our tendency to be the Bosporus boardwalk sideshow.)

Whoever said running wasn’t hazardous for your health has not pounded the pavement with me.

Or dogs.

Luckily, I bounce pretty well.

(And, yes, my husband has posed the question that you are probably thinking…how can I still be caught off guard by the dog’s antics? Good question and one I obviously need to ponder.)

Tripping aside, I did actually want to mention a couple of Good Things that I have recently discovered in Istanbul. While these may not be new to you, they are to me, and I am definitely in the honeymoon stage with:

Fresh Figs

Whole and...

Fig Newtons do NOT do figs justice. Frankly, I can’t stand the things (Fig Newtons, that is). Crumbly bread around a center that has little bits in it that crunch. And not in a nice way.

And dried figs? Not much better. Same suspicious seedy-crunchy thing going on. Not pleasant.

But FRESH figs…they are soft and oh, so sweet, and the seeds are only slightly crunchy, and in a nice way…they are yuuummmyyyy. We have a fig tree growing right next to our compound, and I love these plump, tender little things so much that I would even be willing to shock neighbors and take a stick to swat at the tree to get at some of the lovely fruit. Luckily, I don’t have to. They are plentiful and dirt cheap, so no physical labor required. Just a few Turkish Lire.

The second thing is not edible but quite amazing (and I will apologize up front if I appear to have crawled out from under a rock and this is ‘de rigueur’ in modern parking garages):

Smart Parking Garages (as I have termed them)

Not sure how well you can see this, but in the parking garage of the mall that is just 5 minutes from our house (and it’s a GREAT mall…which would be disastrous for my husband except that over-indulging in delicious Turkish food – not to mention American and Swedish food over the summer – has not put me in the shopping mood…but, I digress).

Anyway, there are little lights in front of parking spaces on side rows, as well as along the main rows where you drive…and they guide you to free parking spaces! How cool is that?! So, you’re driving along, and there are green arrows (or red) that tell you where (or where not to) find a free parking space. I love it!

(Granted, my husband was the one who pointed this out to me, patiently explaining the system…he, who has been to the mall oh, maybe three times, and I who am there – my gym is at the mall – multiple times in a week.)

Oh, well. I never claimed to be the keenest observer.

Hmmm. Guess there might be another reason for all the running spills.

* “Run” really means “jog.” Because I have never been and never will be a “runner.” If anything, I am a “leisurely plodder.” But, for some reason, the term “jog” wasn’t used when I started to “run” in Moscow with my group of “running” ladies, and my adoption of their term has led me to habitually falsely advertise my choice of exercise.

(And, BTW, I am not the only “runner” to trip and fall while running…even without a dog. You’d be surprised how often it happens. Granted, in Moscow the root cause of the falls were, pardon the pun, normally a hidden tree root. Or snow. Or ice. In any event, the running season didn’t officially kick off until half of us had flown ass-over-appetite across the trail.)

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