Saturday, October 3, 2009


There are so many things that can make a run unpleasant. Shorts that ride up, shoes that are too tight, excessive humidity and/or air pollution, deep puddles, heavy traffic, too many stoplights, dogs off-leash, goose poop...

I think we've all experienced many of these things at least a few times over the course of our running lives. But I now have a new item for the list, and this one ranks near the top of the unpleasant scale.

Ginkgo berries.

In biology, when we learned about dioecious plants (species with separate male and female plants), the Ginkgo tree was a popular example. The textbook always said basically "you'll never see a female ginkgo tree planted in the city, because the fruit have an unpleasant odor." What it should have said was "you'll move to Seoul, which is absolutely packed with female Ginkgo trees, and they'll make your runs exceedingly unpleasant for a span of at least 3 weeks" or something to that effect.

It's ginkgo fruit season, kids! That means that not only are the sidewalks littered with little orange fruits that get smashed up and ground into the bottom of your shoes, but the stench they release could take paint off walls, burn the hair in your nostrils, and wake the dead. I'm exaggerating only a little. Any direction I run from my house, I'm bound to run into ginkgo fruit world and the smell that comes with it. It's kind of like vomit mixed with vinegar, and a little hint of rotting flesh thrown in, just to maximize unpleasantness.

The good news is, the season will be ending soon, just as the weather cools off and the humidity goes away. I just hope that the unpleasant things we have to run through make us stronger in the end.

1 comment:

  1. You should smell a Durian (sp?) fruit. Apparently it smells like hell but tastes like heaven. I don't know how anyone can make it past the smell to even eat one!