Thursday, April 10, 2008

Don't Goose Me, Bro

This Canada trip has been rather busy so far. We are in Markham, Ontario, which I would consider to be part of the Toronto metropolis area. Toronto is not very far at all down the highway. We are staying just a couple miles from the Smucker Foods of Canada office. It is a very busy area. The main road we use to get to the office is seven lanes wide, with stop lights at every second or third road. And there are tons of big technology companies with offices in the area -- like AMD and Avaya.

We also discovered that all-you-can-eat sushi is big around here. None of the sushi places in my area offer this seemed a novel idea to all of us. The place we chose was about $21 per person. They had several appetizers like edamame, miso soup, and sea weed salad. They had about 20 types of ngiri and probably 40 choices of rolls. Flip the menu over and you find more treats. Several types of tempura, many choices of other fried goodies (the octopus balls were great), rices, noodles, and teppanyaki dishes. Drink and ice cream were also included. I would guess that there were well over 100 items available on the menu...all of which were made to order, and all-you-can-eat (90 minute time limit). I wish there were places like this around home.

There is nowhere really good to run since our hotel is in the busy area. Linda and I went out Tuesday morning and found that most of the roads had sidewalks. So we ran through the one non-busy street by the hotel. Then down one of the main raods until we thought we had gone a mile. It was downhill the whole way out. We turned around and made our way back up the hill. Not steep. But literally all uphill. Turns out we were pretty close. It had been .95 mi when we turned around. Temperature was about 45 degrees.

We went out again today. It was about 35 degrees. We set out on the same path. I bought The Little Mermaind Broadway cast recording this weekend, and I was listening to that on my mp3 player. I was on Part of Your World and I heard a bird sound. I was picturing Ariel coming on the surface of the water as she sang; birds flying overhead. I heard the bird again and realized that it wasn't in the music. There was a giant goose just to the left of the road ahead of us (we were still on the non-busy street). I noticed that there was another goose about 10 feet behind it off the road. Linda and I looked at each other and realized that he didn't look friendly (we already had a hissing goose run toward our group as we walked to dinner a couple nights before). We headed for the other side of the street to keep our distance, but the goose came running at us at full speed. Linda turned and went into the grass and towards a parking lot that was across the street from the geese. I turned and started going back down the road. After I got several steps, I heard Linda scream and turned around just in time to see the goose fly low over her head. It landed just past her. I tried to collect my thoughts, but now the goose (who was probably forty feet away) started coming toward me.

I saw a big company sign not too far past me. It was probably four or five feet tall, one foot thick, and six or eight feet long. I thought I could get behind it so the goose couldn't fly at me, but the goose took off earlier than I expected. I couldn't see the goose because I was sprinting away from it, but Linda said it swooped down nearly low enough to hit me as it flew over. It landed several feet past me just as I was getting to the sign. So I stood by the sign. I was at the far end of the sign, and the goose at the other. I kept peering around either side of the sign to see where the goose was going to go. Whichever way he came around, I was going to go the other. But it just did the same thing, looking around to see what I was going to do. Linda had walked up to me at this point, and I suddenly realized that we were directly between the angry goose and the other goose. All I could think of was the danger that ensues if you stand between a mother bear and her cubs.

After dancing around the sign to watch the goose, it finally just stood still. We decided to continue on our planned route -- which would take us just past the other goose -- since that was the direction that would get us away from the mean goose. We kept our distance from the other one as we ran by, and luckily the attacker stayed where he was and didn't come at us again. It should be no surprise that we took a different route back to the hotel.

The run today was WINDY! It was cold and the wind just cut right through clothing. We were running directly into it as we came up the hill. At times it felt like I wasn't even moving forward. Linda hadn't planned to run outside, so she only had shorts. Her legs were bright red after 20 minutes out in the wind. I am typically an evening I packed for evening weather which is usually a bit warmer. So all I had on top were a t-shirt and a long-sleeve t-shirt. BRRR.

I ran 1.9 miles yesterday and 1.95 miles today. The extra .05 was well worth it to avoid the goose on the way back. I haven't talked to Kristin about running this week, so I'm not sure what she has done.


Rae! said...

Holy Cats!!!! I mean goose!!! I know geese are mean, they don't hurt. Great job on the miles, miles away from home.

caballerofan said...

Thanks for sharing that eh.

That goose sounds like a real hoser.