Friday, August 14, 2009

No Peanuts In The Pool

When I went to Cape May with my family last month, I remember that Lilah was required to wear a certain type of diaper in the pool at the complex we stayed in. Silly me thought that all diapers were water-proof and didn't realize there's extra special water proof diapers for pools. In America they're such sticklers for hygiene (read that sentence with sarcasm).

As you can imagine the rules for kids aren't as stringent in Vietnam as they are in America. The other day I went to a pool with Huyen's family. The pool was huge and packed with probably a hundred Vietnamese people. I attempted to swim laps but there was really no shot it was going to happen. I was also slightly grossed out by the bottom of the pool which clearly hadn't been cleaned since...well, maybe ever.

Huyen's nephew Viet Hoang decided to he wanted to "swim" and was carried around in the pool by Huyen. Viet Hoang kept saying, "Let me go. I can swim." Huyen, using her better judgement, didn't let go since Viet Hoang would have sunk like a rock.

After a few minutes, Viet Hoang's dad took Viet Hoang out of the pool and much to my surprise took off his bathing suit. It was an even bigger surprise when he then encourage Viet Hoang to jump back into the pool. It was then an even bigger surprise when Viet Hoang proceeded to jump towards me! It was like slow-motion as this naked three year old catapulted in the air at me. I caught him in my arms and gingerlly held him at arms length until Huyen took him from me. I was then an even a bigger surprise when the lifeguard -- the lifeguard himself being the biggest surprise of the day since I've never seen a lifeguard in Vietnam -- blew his whistle and ran over to us. I thought to myself, "It must be against the rules to swim naked in a community pool." The lifeguard said something to Huyen and Viet Hoang's dad and they both started to laugh. I asked what he said and Huyen told me that, "There's no peanuts in the pool." I then asked if Viet Hoang needed to get out and she said, "No! He was only joking."

Yup, no rules.

For the record, in defense of Vietnamese people, I asked if Viet Hoang knew not to pee in the pool. Huyen told me that he knew that and said that Vietnamese people don't pee in the pool...and well, that's more than I can say for all of us Americans!

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