Sunday, April 5, 2009

Vietnamese Swimmers

I'm making a last ditch effort to get in decent shape before I come home. I've started to run (I've gone running twice) and to swim (I've gone swimming three times). One thing that you quickly realize when you go to the pool here is that the Vietnamese swim like they drive. There are no swimming lanes in Vietnam. It's just an open pool and a free-for-all to get from one side to the other. Just to give you an idea, the other day I started to swim across the pool and in one lap the following happened:
1. A woman and her baby stepped in front of me. I veered around them.

2. A teenager doing the "breast stroke" was coming in my direction and gently kicked my leg with his strange kicking motion.

3. I think a piece of trash floated by me; perhaps it was a q-tip. (that said, the pool is pretty clean)

4. I constantly had to avoid people who prefer to swim their laps in the horizontal direction of the pool rather than the long, some would say traditional, way.

5. I swam around a couple of kids who I think were playing the Vietnamese version of Marco Polo.

6. An extremely powerful jet turned on and pushed me into a dude doing the breast stroke.

7. As I was approaching the opposite wall I looked up and saw a man standing poolside directly where I was swimming too. The man stretched his arm and then proceeded to dive over me.

At the end of the swim I was totally scratch free. Like driving here, it all somehow work out.

Oh, and Mom, to answer your inevitable question: no there aren't any lifeguards.