Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape.
Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is.
And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...
Wednesday, September 2
No Drowning Outside Regulation Times
From the TJB File. Location: Chiba International Swim Centre.
It is a fact that 5 minutes before the end of each hour, swimming pools across Japan blow a whistle and order everyone out of the pool. Everyone must stay out for 5 minutes. This is so that one of the pool guards can jump into the pool and swim the lanes looking for people on the bottom.
This would be fine, except it raises a few questions that no-one ever knows the answers to. I have tried asking.
1. Often the pool guard is someone whose swimming skills are very poor. How would this person save anybody?
2. What if you sink to the bottom of the pool 2 minutes into the next hour? Will you be there for another 53 minutes?
3. So if the purpose is to save people, then how come when lessons are going, you do not stop the lessons and ask those people to get out? Surely the people in the lessons are the ones who are more likely to drown?
4. See question 3 except add in children - groups of children that have perhaps 1 adult to a group of 25 children. Surely these kids have more chance of slipping under the water undetected than say the average swimmer who is doing laps?
5. What about for those people who need to do continuous 3 or 4 km sets (such as those in-training for ironman or triathlons or distance swimming)? Surely people swimming these distances are less likely to drown than those in Q3 and Q4...so why stop them?
6. And this still doesn't explain can't I wear flippers in the pool, when the lesson lane next to me can!till doesn't explain can't I wear flippers in the pool, when the lesson lane next to me can!