Wednesday, January 19, 2011
One of my fav Paris bloggers, Prêt à Voyager recently blogged about her experience at Paris swimming pools. I was cracking up as I read the whole post, because she was so spot on. Basically, Parisians are WACK when it comes to swimming pools. I like swimming a great deal, and when I was in Paris and training for my most recent marathon, I tried my hardest to swim once a week as cross training. But it was impossible. It was just too weird. And crowded. And naked. Here are some other things:
- The lockers were always really complicated. I tried to swim at several different pools hoping to find one that was a good fit, and every time had to learn some new complex locking system. Whatever happened to the good old key? No, instead they have euro coin locks, or locks where you have to enter a secret pin code after two beeps. Also, one pool has these weirdo mannequin hanger thingys that everyone casually hung their clothes on and put inside their lockers. I was embarrassed because I just threw my clothes in a heap inside the locker. I thought that was what normal people did.
- For men, anything but a Speedo is deemed unsanitary (see picture). Men must wear Speedos to be allowed to swim. Gross. If you forget yours, you can buy one from the vending machine. Double gross.
- After exiting the locker room and before entering the swimming pool, you must walk through 1-2 feet of stagnant water. It's like a kiddie pool blocking your path to the swimming pool. It's, you know, to sanitize your feet. Triple gross.
- Parisians can't swim. Not fast or in a straight line or anything. I don't even know why they go to the swimming pool. They enjoy clogging the wall space so that swimming without stopping is absolutely impossible. They can't smoke there, so I really don't see why they are wasting their time poking around the pool.
- The hours at every pool are very limited, which means you have to share a lane with 10-15 Parisians who can't swim. See above.
- I don't want to talk about the locker rooms.
I finally gave up on swimming and just counted riding my bike up Rue de Belleville as my cross training.
Now I live in 'MERICA, and I belong to a big fat American gym that has a pool. I swim twice a week usually. It is heavenly. I can flip turn to my heart's content without worrying about some Speedo-clad man kicking me in the face. AND the locker room is just ladies only! Crazy!