No swimming

Thu, Aug 26, 2010

There’s a well known, yet secret, open-air swimming pool in Matsumoto. It’s in Kiri – not far from the (Shinshu) University. It’s really cheap – it’s a city-owned pool – and you are not likely to have your swim disturbed by eg other swimmers or heaven’s forbid – “children”.
Don’t bother going to this open air pool. You are not allowed to wear sun cream – you are told to wash it off before you get into the pool. So if you do go, put your cream on before you arrive and have a very casual rinse before plunging in (you MUST shower before entering).
Parents. There is the very real likelihood that the idiotic staff there (city employees) will not believe you when you are challenged about the likelihood of your children not taking a dump, passing number 2s, having a poo or whatever you want to call the call of nature. The manager actually lifted the dresses of our pre-school children to inspect their underwear. He would make any American visitors very rich, I think? Sue, Grabbit & Runne.
You see, this is a very special swimming pool. It is allergic to people, especially children, having fun in it. Can you believe, children might pee in the water? I was shocked at this news – but with a bit of research I discovered something called ‘chlorine’ which can be put in swimming pool water to kill whatever nasties might be introduced. I think Japan has an acute knowledge of what fishing nets can be used for? With a bit of imagination they could also be used for other purposes, if a child might be so unlucky to have an accident in the water?
The day I tried to take our 3-year-olds there, sum total ONE swimmer, FIVE staff (very busy lolling in their a/c office). Glorious sunny morning, mid-summer. There is even a special little pool – about 8 inches deep. Uninfected with children. I think it is called a ‘paddling pool’. Apparently the idea is that children play it it to gain confidence with water. I think any parent taking their kids there would pretty much expect that said pool might not be 100% H2O.
Oh, even if you do comply with the entry rules, you have to get out every 20 minutes for an obligatory rest – even if you just got in. Suncream on? Nope!
“It’s Japan” & “Those are the rules”.
Love this town, but there aren’t half some jobsworths.