Saturday, February 14, 2009

Running in Stockholm, the Color Orange, and Russian Tourists

I went for a run today. Which was stupid. I hate running. With a passion that lacks in all other aspects of my life. It’s rather impressive actually. I don’t get any runners high. That inner conversation so many runners go on and on about is more a conversation of self reproach and admonishment. Running and I just don’t really get along.

I do however get along with the color orange. I quite like the color orange. Bright orange. Obnoxious orange. Construction cone orange. I would argue that in the darkness that is the Swedish winter, the bright orange keeps me safe. Now it might seem that these two things are not at all related. But they are.

Because I am the proud owner of a bright orange hat. And bright orange gloves. And bright orange sweatpants. All of which I wore on my run today. To my surprise, I was actually not the only person running in bright orange. Which made me feel like I fit in.

Anyway, as I stumbled along on what some might describe a jog, I noticed a lot of Russian tourists. Spend enough time in Stockholm and the Russian tourists are easy to pick out. Usually I don’t pay much attention, but today was different. Because I was photographed as I ran by. They weren’t even sneaky about it. It was a point and a smile at me by the girlfriend and the camera was brought up and pointed right at me by the boyfriend. Clearly, they were not part of any sort of Russian spy network. Now, as we’ve already established, my boyish good looks and charm soften even the hardest hearts, but it’s not often that Russians are taking pictures of me as I run by.

After that interesting start to my run, I continued on. Sucking wind. Trying not to slip on the ice. Thanking Stockholm’s city workers for laying down a whole lot of sand on the majority of the paths. They did good work. I did not fall. A small victory really.

I managed to get myself stuck in a short, but effective, midday snow flurry. By the time I emerged from the flurry, my once black vest was white, but my bright orange sweatpants roared on. It was about this time that my iPod died. It’s getting old. It’s traveled the world. Turns out that my iPod can’t handle below freezing weather. Like 23 degree Fahrenheit weather. So my run ended in silence and I made it home looking like some sort of strange orange creamsicle.

Welcome to Sweden. And winter runs.

To receive A Swedish American in Sweden in your inbox enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

13 comments:

  1. It's also possible that the tourists were Ukrainian. The color which was a symbol for their political "revolution", which took place a few years ago, being bright orange, the tourists might have liked your outfit for that reason.

    Or maybe they were Russian and thought your outfit looked funny. I mean,no offense, but I got a pretty funny image in my head when you described your running outfit...

    ReplyDelete
  2. You know that in sweden it's illegal to take someones picture without asking first.

    Only the goverment can do that without permission.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hej Hairy,

    Take it from me, substitute walking for hiking. Your knees, over time (and time WILL happen) your knees will appreciate it. I'll tell you a story about this when we next meet.

    Ain't February the pits?

    Ron

    ReplyDelete
  4. Try getting a shell or something for your iPod if it can't handle the weather. I have one for my own and it's never effected by the weather.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @robban - good call on the ukrainian thing. the orange may have done it.

    @xenolyse - oh big brother. good times.

    @ron - I might have to, because the running is just no fun.

    @anonymous - a good idea. I really do think though that its just old and tired. but its probably worth it to get a shell regardless.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Xenolyse is wrong. You can photograph people as much as you like.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well, duh! He was kidding.grow a sense of humor and get a life

    ReplyDelete
  8. I vividly remember you running solely for one race and one race only...with the one and only goal to beat me. Because you couldn't stand to let a girl kick your butt. You were wearing the orange gloves back then as well! Happy running!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Tara,

    Clearly you know Hairy/Markus better than I - but maybe he's just proud of his backside and wanted you to enjoy the view for purely selfless reasons?

    I'm sadly uncompetitive lacking any pride when it comes to competing with girls. I'd like to think that I'm a gentleman - Ladies first. Besides, it's always nice with a nice view when you're running.
    Still, having your butt kicked...no. Open hand? Depends on who the girl is, I say.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Then I bet you'd get a kick out of watching a Holland team play soccer :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. @anonymous - indeed.

    @anonymous - think you're right, hopefully just kidding there.

    @tara - turns out Im a bit competitive... oops. but I won.

    @jacob - I think you nailed it. jacobs on to you tara.

    @smek - they do have some nice orange in their uniforms!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hehe, I think we Russians are new Japanese when it comes to taking pics. :) I love taking photos, I take photos of everything I am even slightly interested in, just in case - I can always delete the digital photos, after all! And I must confess I do take some photos of people too. Though, I'd have to see you running to decide if it is a sight worth of a snapshot. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. all decked out in orange... I ama sight for sore eyes,

    ReplyDelete