I went running for nearly 12 Km in Amman today. I feel good! The down side of the run was to see how Jordanians are not taking care of their nature – or a bit more general – they don’t take care of their own living environment. I ran in a park with forest called Sport City and was appalled to see that much littering and destructions. The park itself is nice and offers much opportunities (and the only true opportunity in Amman) to run in a “natural” environment. But it seems that people do not appreciate this place. In some places the city itself is littered and so does Sport City. In the forest there is a track that nearly gives you 2 km per lap. If you run on the asphalt and go all around the inside perimeter you can make it to 3 km. If you combine all roads and take all loops you could increase your distance to 8 km (just a guess).
On weekends they are spanning chains across the streets on various locations to hinder cars to drive through Sport City. The basic idea is not bad at all, only the way they handle it is beyond any logic. Spanning an object across the street does not only hinder cars from passing through (that is good) but also a cyclist, or a woman with a baby stroller or if you as a runner want to make the “big round”. You can’t unless you stop your motion and climb over the chain. On the day I was there, the police wanted to turn a round to check on security but could not because the chains where barring the way. An excellent example of bad Project Management – a good idea ending up in a No Brainer. Here you see clearly how an unfit mind is working in an unfit body that actually should promote a Healthy Lifestyle. Just as a side comment; the same stupidity you will find on the roads of Amman. Years back they build a nice Bridge (cost millions of US$) connecting Jabal Amman with Abdoun spanning over Wadi Abdoun. This shortens the distance for cars by about 4-5 km. The down side is, pedestrians can’t cross the bridge as there is no walk way. Once I run with a friend crossing that bridge. If you are tired from your life – go ahead. Here also you can see that Amman was build with a mind that excludes pedestrians and/or cyclist – a total monotone and unhealthy life – a One Way approach to Bad Life.
Back in Sport City. At one other location I was running on sand like in the dessert. Someone told me that years back they removed from the nearby stadium the grass and the sand underneath to make it all new. Football seems also here to have high values. The company that had to transport the sand away surely was to lazy (or greedy) to bring it out of Sport City to a suitable dumping place. Of course hey then also saved transport costs that most likely ended in someone pocket. The result is, that people running there now have to endure that location and go out of pace. When Children play, they leave Dunes from piled up Sand. Walkers have started to go out of that way and you clearly see other tracks forming beside the old one.
There are beautifully made stone walls to create terrace that brings the runner up the little hill. But today it seem partially in shamble. When looking at that wall a bit more in detail you can see that individuals have taken out large stones (I am not kidding). I am still wondering for what. The wall then collapses during the next big rain or because children are playing and/or adults taking shortcuts at such locations. Look at the picture how badly the walls have being repaired – a waste of valuable financial resources.
It was not the first time I was running in Sport City. And I am very saddened to see how little care is given to a place that seems one of the very very few good places to go to practice Sport in the center of Amman. I do hope that the Government once can create a lasting point of motivation to change the behavior of their citizens. Let’s see if in the coming 66 years they manage to do so.
What is your experience running in other countries? Did you make similar experiences like I did in Jordan? Please leave your Comment. Thanks!