Running around Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno Stadium (the wrong way)

Being a bit bored with the fitness center I thought I’d try something different at the weekend and go for a real run instead of running on the boring treadmill like I usually do.

But where do go? Street running is out of the question in Jakarta for obvious reasons and there ain’t many public spaces at all.

But one good place is the Gelora Bung Karno football stadium in Senayan, Central Jakarta. Actually, it had been called the Senayan Stadium up to a few year’s ago before Megawati become president and restated its name to honor her father who had been demonized for so long by former president Suharto.

Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno football stadium, Senayan
It’s a great place to go for a run though. And there are even plenty of trees in the area around the stadium.

The huge stadium, which was funded by the Russians, is certainly impressive even though it was built back in the 60s. I remember seeing Lazio play there a number of years back. And strangely, we got to see Signori and his mates after the game as well: some bright spark had dragged the whole team down to Tanamur discothèque, giving the Italian players the chance to really experience the warmth of Indonesian culture firsthand. Luckily the players had left their wives back in Italy.

But I am not alone at the stadium – there are plenty of other runners there as well.

And guess what? Like in every other country in the world, everyone has chosen to run around the stadium anticlockwise.

Just to be different I run the other way. It ain’t that busy, and only one guy tells me “I’m running the wrong way around the stadium”.

“Why is this the wrong way?”, I reply.

He doesn’t answer.

I’ve tried to find out the answer on the internet but to no avail. My guess is that it’s got something to do with the left and right sides of our brains or something. Or is it that we are conditioned to run this way from watching professional athletes run this way on TV? If anyone knows, do let me know…


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