One of the
woes of May besides continued lockdown and cool and unpredictable weather was
the fact that the open-air pool did not open as usual at the beginning of the
month. Pandemic regulations. This pool is the biggest highlight of the city, it
is what keeps me sane in summer.
they had set up a strict regime of separated lanes which I found much
preferrable to the usual open pool where people just tended to swim in groups, usually
making it hard for lap swimmers like me to just swim straight who do not chat with
neighbors. So everybody was eagerly waiting – we have experience in swimming
under pandemic conditions! And numbers of infection are going down, the map looked much better recently!
Then rumors appeared they would open after all,
perhaps, then rumors sounded terrible about having to preregister well in
advance and stuff like that. But on Monday last week we could go and buy season’s
passes at a slightly reduced price. In other years this would be possible for
the whole month of April during opening hours of city hall because the pool is
owned by the city. This year, only on one day, and only two hours, twice. The
line was outrageously long when I got there just after the beginning of the
second set of opening hours in the evening.
For quite a
while it seemed as if the line wasn’t moving at all, certainly people were not coming
out who had finished their purchase. Then people in line started to give up,
which was the first ‘progress’ felt. About every 8 to 10 minutes one person
would come out. If you have 15 people visible ahead of you, and you know you
can only see up to a corner after which you may as well assume another 6 to 8
people waiting you can calculate how long it will take. I started writing an
email message on my phone, it got to be a long message and I stopped way before
I was getting nearer to the top of the line. The worst thing about it was the
complaining going on around me, though. Germans can be so negative about
things, and when it is rather disconcerting to be waiting in a slow-moving long
line, it is even more so when the people around you are constantly going on
about how awful this all is. I wish I’d brought my earplugs to drone it all
out. I waited 1 ¾ hours. If you give a bit of value to your personal time spent
like that and compare it to the amount you ‘saved’ by getting a season’s pass
at a 10% discount... it wasn’t worth it. But having gotten a season’s pass is
definitely worth a lot. Right now we don’t even need a negative test to enter.
Life has become a good deal better with the pool being open.
And it is strawberry season.
I have been a big fan of strawberries from very early on in my life. Some good things never change.