Sunday afternoon, minus 10 degrees

Seeing as we've had another cold snap, and it was minus 10 degrees yesterday (Sunday) morning, we decided to go for a swim at the local indoor pool.  We don't do it very often, as it is a whole intense post-Soviet experience, and not for the feint hearted.  Mind you, if we wanted to pay 25 Ls ($50 AUD) we could take the family to the local spa pool, complete with 10 different types of saunas, complimentary smelly body soap, a overheated swimming pool and jacuzzi, mosaic tile version of Klimt's "The Kiss" and waterfalls....  but no.  Not for us!  We're tough.  (And cash-strapped).  We opted for the local school sports complex pool.  To cut a long story short - this involved a fact-finding mission of ringing the pool, only to get hung up on by the crabby attendant, pre-defined swimming times of 45 minutes with no entry permitted at between times, taking along your obligatory pool slippers, being growled at by the pool "Commandant" (yes, her job title was actually "commandant") because we offered to pay in cash not with a card, traipsing down into the soviet basement to find the changerooms, having to shower naked in a communal basement shower room with loads of other eager swimmers (mostly pensioners), being mildly scolded for not all having the obligatory swimming caps, being assigned a lane in which to swim UP and BACK.  Coaxing kids into the less-than-warm water.  Being chastised by the aforementioned pensioners because my children were not swimming UP and BACK but blocking the road by duck diving, swimming OVER the lane and stopping half way.  A quick stop in the sauna to warm up and get my kids' lips back to a normal colour other than blue, another naked shower with the ladies, and then, to one of the most fun parts of the trip.   The hair dryers.  You gotta love those retro hair dryers all along the wall in a row.
Now this may sound like a complaining kind of post, but in actual fact I would call it more descriptive.  The culture shock of pool rules and regulations has worn off for us many years ago - you just get a thick skin and go with the flow, ignore the really stupid parts, and have fun.  The boys certainly loved swimming (despite blue lips), and we decided that we definitely have to go swimming again soon.  Only I might save up the 25 Ls for the spa pool next time...

Hear no evil...

4 Responses so far.

  1. Hi Mook,
    I don't suppose the pool had a little shop selling cornettos then?
    Love those hairdryers though- best thing for ringletty curls- my haidresser has an old heirloom specimen she drags out for me and a handful of ladies of the blue rinse variety coming in for their "set". Please don't cry or vomit when you see my next post as we are currently sunning it up at Moffat Beach Caloundra - hoping it may make you homesick enough to book tickets! Melx

  2. Mamma M says:

    See, that is why you can make it in LV and I could not... I just could not by any means handle that kind of experience and then want to go back. Why suffer when there are places in the world (and I'm not talking other countries, I just mean not that pool!) where people are happy and polite and children can have fun in the water without getting yelled at?

  3. Alex says:

    I see the dryer gave Tiss a great New Wave 80s hairstyle!

  4. Mook says:

    Mara - you are right - we may not be returning to that pool any time in the near future :) That kind of Soviet attitude still holds fast in certain places here, as you know, but we usually try to keep those experiences to a minimum - just don't go there. If you do, you certainly need a thick skin and a good sense of humour. Jem and I usually make a good comedy team and we try to find the ludicrous in the gloominess! There are fewer places with this attitude than there used to be when we first lived here - the legendary drug store/hardware/home store around the corner from us, Elektrons, is starting to look like its about to bankrupt, which is a pity - because its one of the last shops I know of where you choose the item, get the shop attendant to write out the price on a piece of paper, go to the cashier and pay, get the receipt, and go pick up your item... all with no smiling allowed. You know, the Soviet standard way of buying something. A dying breed.

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