Happy, Sad, Hungover & Healthy

Monday, October 04, 2010

This past weekend was both immensely fun and incredibly sad.

On Saturday night I had dinner with Liam (the fun part), because on Sunday he left the country to head to England for at least the next three years (the sad part).

We met for drinks first and I had a couple of beers – the kind which some crazy foreigner told me cut it as a longneck in other parts of the world. To me a longneck is a 750ml bottle that nowadays is mostly reserved for getting drunk as quickly as possible at weddings, not a 375ml bottle. But I’m getting off track.

As it usually goes with Liam, dinner involved a couple of bottles of wine, although I managed to stay coherent enough to remember the next day that we went to a Dumpling bar – where I ate some very odd things, like soup dumplings and chicken ribs.

Given the size of a chicken I wouldn’t have thought that a chicken rib would be much more than a tiny little bone with nothing on it, so I felt that it was important to order them to see what they were like. Oddly enough, the dish ended up being a plate of very small fried chicken pieces amidst 7 or 8 cupfuls of dried chillies. Very weird and random.

The soup dumplings (Shao-Long Bao) were one of the strangest things I’ve ever had. They were like regular dumplings, but instead of just the regular meat filling, they had soup in them too. I’m not sure how they got it to stay in there, but it was an incredibly strange yet awesome thing to eat – you pretty much had to eat them whole, and then they sort of exploded in this mass of intense flavours in your mouth. Bizarre but soooo good.

Dinners with Liam are always memorable ones, so the copious amounts of alcohol never seem to do any real harm to my memory of the nights events. The problem with this particular dinner was that KJ and I had committed ourselves to finally getting off our fat lazy butts and attempting some exercise on Sunday, and unfortunately a night out with Liam does not lend itself well to things like Sunday exercise.

Fortunately (or possibly unfortunately), the day turned out to be one of the nicest we’ve had in months. The sun was shining, but not too hot and the air was cool. I wore shorts for the first time in what feels like an eternity. I wore a t-shirt without having to put on a jumper! How could I turn down the chance to get out an about in a day that was so damn annoyingly gorgeous?! I’ve been pining for weather like this since May.

We had a couple of bikes for the weekend, so we thought we’d give them a bit of a go and see how they went. I didn’t realise it had been quite so long since I’d last been on a bike. I’m sure they say that riding a bike is something you never forget, but with my last bike ride about 10 year behind me and a killer hangover telling me to get off the bike and drag myself back to bed, it seemed possible that I may not remember how it all worked.

Luckily, after a slightly shaky start, and a scary moment in which I found myself going the fastest I’ve travelled in years without two tonnes of metal and several airbags to protect me, I managed to get going and all the enjoyment that I used to get out of riding came back to me. Within about 5 minutes I had lost sight of KJ, but that didn’t seems to matter because it was a nice day and it felt good to be outside.

We only rode about 3km, but considering how I feel about exercise, that wasn’t too bad. And I was wary of doing myself some kind of injury by pushing myself too far to start with.

I was pleased to find that while I could feel the burn from the work my muscles were doing, they were still up to the task. Sadly, I couldn’t quite say the same for my lungs, which have endured several years of smoking, quite a few more of passive smoking and a lot of lack of exercise since my last bike ride.

I think I’d pretty happily go riding again, although I’m not sure how I feel about riding with someone. I kind of like the solitude of it, and it feels different having someone else there. I’m not sure if it’s different good or different bad. At this stage it’s just different.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. It could end up like a lot of other things we do – something we keep meaning to get back to, but never quite manage to make the time for.


Crazy Foreigner said...

Although our long necks are just regular size beers, I do drink a lot of "Tall Boy" cans, which are 709 Ml... it's more economical that way!

Keep up with the biking, after a few weeks, you'll start hacking-up bits of crap from all those years of smoking! Trust me.

I think I prefer riding alone too.

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