Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The sound of approaching rain

So much for this year's much touted El Nino effect. This is already the rainy period; the inter-monsoon period when winds change direction clash and deposit moisture across the country.

When I stepped out of the house this morning to admire the darkening sky, I was looking at the low clouds fast moving in to block my view of the nearby Bukit Mertajam hill in Cherok To'kun. Normally, I would have been able to see the transmission towers very clearly but not today.

And soon, I was joined by a 70-years-old-plus neighbour on his way for his morning exercise walking around the neighbourhood. He stopped to chat but suddenly, I had to interrupt him. "Listen," I told him, "do you hear that sound in the background?"

He stopped to listen. It was a soft roar which was gradually growing louder and approaching us. The roar of an approaching rain storm. The first time that I had ever heard it out in the open. Felt wonderful and all excited with this fresh experience.

And almost immediately, I felt the first raindrops, ever so faint but growing in intensity. "The rain's here," I commented to my neighbour and moved indoors to the shelter of my home's porch. "Well, that's the end of my exercise today," he told me and he made an about-turn to retrace his steps home.

That reminds me. Today's Tuesday; the day that I normally go to Chai Leng Park to complete some chores and go for my delicious breakfast of tu tor koay teow soup (koay teow soup with pig's entrails). Rain or no rain, I shall go. Threatening sky or none, I shall go. But this was the dramatic scenery when I was driving out from Bukit Mertajam this morning. Made me think: would I get thoroughly wet even with my umbrella? My precious shoes, they are not made for walking on water. They would just soak everything in and get soggily wet.

But first, there's also my regular detour to the Safira Club for my weekly session on the treadmill. I don't run on the machine - not after I found out that I have a slight knee problem that prevents me from exerting too much pressure on the right joint - so all I do nowadays is walk on the treadmill.

I do enjoy my weekly walking exercise sessions at the club's gymnasium in the morning. The gym is almost always deserted at that time of the day and I have the whole place to myself.

However, it is rather boring, which I try to eliminate by listening to my choice of music from my portable audio media player, but I can also put in a solid hour walking at a constant pace. This morning, for example, I managed 6.7 kilometres in 62 minutes at a constant speed of 6.4kph, then at 6.5kph.

I can't get that consistency just by walking around my neighbourhood, as suggested by a few well-meaning friends and relatives. But if only I can go the clubhouse more often than once a week. I know I can, but I don't.

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