French swimming pool
Paris Travel Blog› entry 16 of 25 › view all entries
As Paris isn't entirely new to me, there was any pressure to do the touristy things. Instead it is quite nice to do the day-to-day activities ... very soon the familiar become strange!
In this case it is swimming ... Paris seems to be well-equipped with council swimming pools. There's about 4 that I know within a 15 minute walking radius of where I am, but I guess it serves a large population.
- Now, entering the pool complex, I was faced with a sign saying that swimcaps are compulsory! I've never worn one before but fortunately they're cheaply available from a vending machine. I guess it is hygiene ... but what about beards? And what about bears? There were a few people who had so much fur you could stroke them like they were a cat.
- Also in the vending machines were speedos ... because boardshorts are not acceptable ... but that is fine as most French are quite trim regardless of age.
- Once I had that sorted, I was faced with scores of cabins or changing cubicles. Each had a lock which can only be opened from the outside. But it wasn't equipped with a key. As it turns out, the attendant unlocks it for you when you've finished your swim. Strange ... he could unlock your cabinet for anyone too!
- In the shower, everything is very discreet. No one flicks off their apparel to have a good wash before or after swimming. It is all done while you're in your swimmers. Then it dawned on me that the changing cubicles are not there for security but for modesty! Strange, considering that it is a very liberal nation ... topless sunbathing and swimming is OK at the beach.
- Then there are rules about where you must take off your shoes or sandals upon entering the complex ... and when you can put them back on on the way out. This is demarcated with a red line on the floor shortly after you pay and enter. It took me two visits to come to grips with this one and had to be told!
PS. These photos are from my phone-camera and aren't very good ... my real camera went to London with Kim.