Let me compare and contrast, the two small towns with around 50,000 people, oh! No, not how developed Bozo is and how third world Otp is but some small nuances, some insignificant small details and thoughts which creep into my mind when I run.. Yes, when I run in Ottapalam.
Bozeman lies north of 45o latitude with an elevation of more than 4,000feet in a valley ‘surrounded’ by mountains. Whereas, Ottapalam lies at meager 170 odd feet with at just over 10o north of equator with golden beaches just over 35 miles to the west and “sub-continental dividesque” Western Ghats to the east.
Ok! Shut up! enough Geography. Well, I am writing after a while, I gotta blurt out some facts(read truth) before I can ramble. So that the readers tend to believe both!
So, the first thing that comes to mind is the humidity. Bozeman is dry as hell, it is good as well as bad for the skin, it easily cures rashes and bruises, no flies and insects are interested in you. If you are not hydrated, it will kill your skin, it will kill your intestine and soon all the internal organs. So, you gotta stay hydrated.
In Ottapalam, it is humid, humid as hell. so, the skin might be all hunky dory, but bruises take longer, and insects will feast on you. Oh my god, somebody save me from these ants and mosquitoes (NRI cribs, ). But most importantly, you sweat, you sweat profusely. you sweat liters of sweat. You wear cotton and run. And then you know why Cotton is called killer cotton. But for me, no matter what clothing I wear, I get sweaty like a white boy. One day, I was running and wore a sleeveless cotton, I had to take it off and dry it.. Phew. Here also, you have to stay hydrated. You lose more water sweating than peeing. All my pee here is yellow.
After humidity, its temperature, when Bozeman weather gods are calm, there is no better place to run, you don’t sweat, the breeze and temperature is right and you can run and run and run. But, sometimes you have to dress right, a full sleeve, a head gear, may be thermal pants. But its nice even with all those once you’ve made peace with the elevation.
In Otp, The temperature during monsoon months Low: 23C ~75F, High:34C, I have to pick up the lowest possible temperature to run, I wake up at 5:30 to run at the lowest possible temperature. Today, I skipped running because I woke up at 6:20am, because the temperatures would have already crossed 25C. I wouldn’t believe that if I were in Bozo. Well, I am getting acquainted to running in Tropics. It is definitely better than running in Florida and Texas for sure.
Then the only fragrance you get in Bozeman is of a single fragrant violet flower, the name I can’t recall, all the rest of the flowers are great to look at, but no smell. Unless I am running in the track, and there is all this different perfume creeping into my nose from those ladies. No complaints, but I prefer fresh mountain air outside.
The fragrance in Ottapalam is all varied, sometimes I get the smell of “Chembakam”, I don’t know its English name. Then sometimes from the fish market, did I say, the sea is close by. then the worst is those Men’s cologne from those “Walking club” men’s. Complaints!
I can run freely in Bozeman, apart from being scared of Bears, in Ottapalam, if I have to run outside, I have to be scared of dogs, yes unclaimed, unsafe street dogs, well that is common through out this great nation. I am not sure, how the stand off between Govt, Blue cross and civil society and PETA is in this regard. But, my current ignorant and incomplete knowledge grants me to consider it a nuisance.
Lastly, all I can say is that, I am much lazier in Ottapalam than in Bozo. Probably due to the food I eat, I guess, I can faster, longer and farther when I feed myself. Mom, no offence. But you do spoil me. Not exactly for good.
I started writing this 4 days back, I got sick and no running for last 4 days. Looking forward to get that straight. Also, need to write a half year review of my 2011 miles. Currently. I am in great shape to gather as many miles as possible. If only. If only.. Well later, Let me publish at least something.