I’ve always known how to swim. My sister and I were in a pool from practically the time we were babes. And it has always been a joy to jump in and start swimming… without a care in the world! A quiet peaceful time of contemplation, random musing or even brain ‘radio silence’.
Growing up with a father who was professor at the University of Manitoba meant access to their olympic size pool. I never knew anything else so just assumed all pools were big, cool, pristinely clean, bright and full of people enjoying their laps.
To discover people splash about in small hot pools chatting was bizarre. I mean come on, pools are meant to enjoy a blissful swim… Beaches are where you combine swimming and play but a pool? Pools are to be in the solo zone, a happy place for focused fitness!
Traveling, I’ve been spoilt with top notch pools. And it is no accident… I pick places to stay on the basis of their pool quality.
I scouted out the pools at several places in Jakarta and for some time splurged on the Mayflower largely for their pool
- Then discovered the Citadines which became a new favourite as it is less pressure on the pocket-book and the pool is kept brrr cold which dissuades the social splish splashers and families leaving me to luxuriate in long solo swims!
- I made the most of the pool at my recent stay-cation in Jakarta too!
But back home in Bandra, Bombay… where to swim?
My partner’s friend’s came to rescue with guest access at a pool not far from us… Yippee!
I went for my first swim there and… a ‘pool princess’ started to peep out!
I could see past the cracked tiles, normal decay, liberal sprinkling of leaves and debris that is simply a part of life in India.
Even overcome the distinctive perfume of the eau to toilet (not toilette!) in the ladies change room…
However, there is just something a wee bit uncomfortable about swimming with an all male audience.
I was the ONLY woman in the pool, the only one doing laps and yet had an audience of a couple guys gabbing in the pool, a few more standing around the pool and then more in the area just beyond the pool watching.
Normally I tune out stares and appreciate there was zero ill-intent, but it was impossible to ignore.
I had to mentally work at pretending there was no audience and so as my mind finally went on its little swim inspired wander, the appeal of burqinis and women-only pools danced in my head!
Obviously I’m not going to adopt either anytime soon, so this ‘princess’ got her butt back into the pool and hasn’t let a few innocent stares get in the way of a good swim.
After a few days, there was even – gasp! – another woman so our happy all-male audience gained another attraction!
It also became clear two of the guys aren’t really an ‘adoring audience’ but instead ‘pool attendants’ expected to keep the pool clean… they do a bang up job of loitering and looking, alas their cleaning capacity could do with a boost! 😉
So delighted to be back in a pool and just going with the flow… fondly remembering favoured Jakarta pools and the good ol U of M Rec Centre!!