Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Early Riser in a Night Owl Country

As the days get longer the first prayer call comes earlier and earlier each morning. This presents a big problem for someone like me who is already an "early riser" and a light sleeper. Today, I'm convinced the microphone on the minaret was at its loudest setting yet. Today's 4:30 am prayer call woke me up and woke up all the birds living in the trees in the mosque garden below my apartment window and the two living in the vent above my stove. Falling back asleep was not going to happen.

So, I sipped my treasured cup of filter press Costa Rican on my balcony, played two words in "Words with Friends" on my phone, and forced myself down my five flights of stairs and out the door for an early morning jog. I haven't been running outside much (I can count on one hand, the number of runs I've made off the tread mill) but it was such a beautiful morning that I hated to let the time go to waste.

My decision and self motivation was well-rewarded. The sidewalks were virtually empty thus saving myself from the evil eye and/or disgusting stares of the rural Turkish men. There were occasional bakers stoking their furnaces and several groups of women walking together (I wouldn't call it exercise because they were still in their fancy shoes..but at least they were moving) but generally I was alone on a beautiful morning watching the sun rise, listening to the roosters crow, and feeling the energy that a good morning jog can provide.

It's hard to explain to my night owl friends why going on a 30 km bike ride at 8:30 at night and stopping for tea and possibly finishing by 10:30 or 11:00 p.m. is not a good idea for me. But, I'm glad I said "no" last night so I was able to say "yes" to this beautiful morning.

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