Folks, don’t try this at home….

At first, this week looked like it wouldn’t be the most exciting of weeks. Well, both of my training sessions with the Hyde Park Harriers were a lot of fun. Actually, after Tuesday night’s training session, we went to a pub named Cuthbert Brodrick at Millennium Square as we threw a goodbye party for Clare (one of our members), who’s moving to London. The weekly CouchSurfing gathering was nice – well, except I coughed a lot. More on that later.

But the last 20 hours have been fun. After eating dinner at the flat last night, I went out into town to catch a glimpse of Light Night, which is an annual festival with several kinds of art. It’s a fun one-day event, and I watched a group called Drum Machine. They performed three sets – at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. I saw the first two sets, and they were quite awesome. It also helps that – as evidenced by the YouTube video – I was able to get very close to them.

Drumming during Light Night

Drumming during Light Night

Ideally, I should have called it a night, as I was planning to do the Park Run earlier today. But earlier, I received an invitation to attend a “international party” at some nightclub named The Backroom (How “international” are those parties? I don’t know. But last Saturday, I attended one – excited by the promise of free burgers, including vegetarian ones. Unfortunately, they ran out of vegetarian burgers by the time I got there, but I still had a blast). I figured since I’d be getting in for free (How that happened? I don’t know), I figured why not go. Although I would be getting up awfully early to do the Park Run (which starts at nine a.m.).

Page, Beth and Ben after getting out of the taxi

Paige, Beth and Ben after getting out of the taxi

So I caught a taxi with three folks (Paige, Beth and Ben) from the Royal Park Flats who happened to be going to Mezz nearby, and walked over to The Backroom (I actually enjoyed the taxi ride. They seemed impressed I could name several places in Wales). I can’t say I had the most fun of nights there – I thought the DJ(s) played some good music earlier on in the night. But then the music started to suck. I left at roughly 1:30 a.m. I would’ve stayed longer, but I had committed mentally to doing the Park Run.

Oh well, I got in for free, so I can’t complain about that. What also can’t complain about is something that happened during the walk back to the flat. For some strange reason, some blond I walked past (who may have one too many beers, although she was far from the most drunk person on the streets of Leeds last night/this morning) gave me hug and a soft kiss on the cheeks. Totally out of the blue. I really think she mistook me for someone else. But even if she did, that’s not something that happens every day to me 🙂

Me after the Park Run

Me after the Park Run

Oh, as for the Park Run. Just before the start, someone mentioned it was the 9th birthday of the Park Run and the event’s 6th birthday in Leeds. To the naked eye (at least, my naked eye), there seemed to be fewer runners today than last Saturday, but there was a healthy crowd. And I ran quite well – 34 seconds faster than last week.  I completed the 5k today in 17:58, finishing 8th out of more than 400 runners. I’m quite pleased with the time, but a bit disappointed I couldn’t pass a couple of runners in front of me.

Pretty good performance despite getting five hours of sleep (I went to bed at 2:30) after walking 45 minutes back to the flat late last night (or maybe, early this morning). I certainly wouldn’t recommend running a hard 5k the morning after a night of clubbing, but I made out quite well 🙂

Satoshi and Johanna

Satoshi and Johanna at the CouchSurfing meetup

And finally, I’ve been able to get a touch of 日本 in Leeds the last couple of days. On Wednesday night, at the CouchSurfing gathering, I met up with a Satoshi, an Osaka native who is studying at the University of Leeds. We spoke mostly in English, but it was obviously wonderful meeting another Japanese person (Oddly enough, at the international party I went to last week, I met four Japanese). And while I was in the city centre for Light Night last night, I heard two gals conversing in Japanese. I decided not to butt into their conversation, but it was a sound for sore ears.

Now all I have to do is get better in that language.

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