Location: California, United States

There are no random acts. We are all connected. You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind. (the five people you meet in heaven)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Conformity and a Swim Cap

When I came to Japan in late January, I never dreamed that I would join a local gym, let alone start swimming again. However, as I faithfully trekked to the gym during the first half of my stay, I would look longingly at the pool wishing that I had brought my suit so that I could do laps. While I was home, I made sure to pack my new suit that I had purchased just days before originally leaving for Osaka. A new Speedo, perfect for laps. My first time back to the gym, I hit the machines savoring with anticipation the laps I would swim. I went down to the pool, hopped in, and started down the pool.

As I made my way down the length of the pool, I noticed one of the gym employees scurrying down the side. As I came up at the end of the pool, she yelled, “お客さん!” (Guest!) She told me that you cannot swim without a swim cap.* “Do you have one? If not, you can rent one for 110 yen.” Personally, I was not so into the renting idea. Plus, now that I have my suit, I intend to swim quite a bit. After various consultations with the front desk via some type of cordless radio transmission, it was finally settled that I would get my money out of the locker and she would get me a swim cap. When I returned, she had a variety of colored caps. 1050 yen later, I am the proud owner of a new swim cap which entitles me to do laps.
Don’t you wonder what they would have done had I come in without a bathing suit?

*When I told this story to So, she said started laughing before I finished and told me that at her pool in Tokyo they once chased her down the length of the pool because she had her watch on. If she were to bump someone with the watch while swimming, the other person could really get hurt. Posted by Picasa


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear very very sweet, cute, friend,
this is So. Just a brief remark to let you know that when you told me your swimming cap story I started laughing even before you had time to finish it not only because of the story itself (of course, it´s funny, but after being in this country for a while I also have a few myself!) but mainly because of the crazy and funny way in which you told it to me....I specially liked the O-kyuaku-san are a terrible gaijin! and a really mean o-kyakusan driving all these people crazy by not having a proper swimming cap!!!!!!!!!!!! please!!!!!!!!!
BTW, let´s go to a karaoke this the idea???

3:42 AM  
Blogger agiawb said...

Hey So. Yes, I know. I am a terrible gaijin. Probably because I don't see myself as so much of a gaijin, but if they are going to, I should take advantage of it when I can, right? Karaoke this we is definitely a go. Can't wait to see you!

6:41 AM  
Blogger Tea said...

I was laughing before you got through the story because as soon as I knew you were going to get in the pool, I was already worrying about the fact that you didn't have a cap (and I knew that you wouldn't want to wear one). Dang, do they have me programmed or what?! Pool=necessity for swimming cap.

But I must say, yours is quite snazzy:-)

9:47 AM  
Blogger Tea said...

PS. And yes, you are a bad gaijin.

9:48 AM  
Blogger agiawb said...

Hey Tea. As I told So, yeah, I know I'm a bad gaijin, but then again, so are you! I guess I'm also very predictable. (Maybe that just goes to show that you two know me way too well.) I have to say that you made me laugh out loud when I was reading your comment. Thanks.

11:00 PM  

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