A humbled experience

The last time I went to swim at Flushing Meadows pool, it was bit chaotic as usual. Lifeguards busy blowing whistles – I have never heard this many whistle in a pool – because swimmers did what they please, without regards to others.

There is a few standard rules for lap swimming: you stay on the right; you don’t hang around at the end (where people do flip turn), you let faster swimmer go or pass.  Simple enough?  Non of those are out of ordinary and fit well in our daily lives: you drive on your right hand side; you let people pass you if you’re too slow ..

I do my laps continuously and flip turn at the end – meaning I only see the bottom of the pool, don’t get to see what coming my way at all, until I come close which I can sense or touch some one’s feet (again, this is when the person ahead is in a horizontal position.  Because once I touched some one’s higher back because he’s treading the water – treading water in the fast lane!!  What a big jerk!!  It can be little nerve wracking to swim with uncivilized people.  I touch swimmers very often at this pool, some times twice in one lap.

So last time there, in the beginning it’s ok, I shared the lane with one other who’d stop at the end letting me go after few laps (when I caught up with him).  Then it got crowded. Some one behind me began to ‘cut the line’ .. would turned around without going to the end, so can get ahead of me after my flip turn.  By then, it’s too many people in the lane, I couldn’t pass without causing collusion with on coming traffic from the left.  As I continue to swim, I came up on a middle aged man doing breaststroke/treading leisurely but facing up.  So his legs spread wide opened, closed, then opened/closed again while I was facing down and forward fast.  Since his body was 45 degree to the surface, so I got very close to him.  THAT was some humbled experience.  Not sure I could called it a sexual harassment.  Didn’t he have any self-respect?  In an empty lane it is probably fine, but not with someone comes close.

1.  Why couldn’t those Chinese leave their bad rude behavior at home?  Start afresh in this country?
2. Didn’t he feel uncomfortable having someone between his wide opened legs? .. or it’s indeed his intend?
3. Don’t everyone who might not have a clue as what standard rules are in the pool, but with tiny bity common sense would behave better?

Few weeks earlier I had complained to the lifeguard for the rude manner. The big guy with soft accent said earnestly, “don’t you think I tried? Please you talk to him in Chinese ..” Lord, I was embarrassed even he meant well. This time I was really mad, so I stopped and complained to the lifeguard.

Apparently, the man was there with his wife (all in my lane), both slow movers.  And apparently, someone already complained about them.  When I went to the end, as soon as I opened my mouth, few swimmers on the deck came over.  (Did anyone notice how quickly a circling crowd would form in China??)  First, the couple ignored the lifeguard and his whistle.  Another lifeguard try to stop them from the other end also failed too.  So the lifeguard threw down the red soft pole to stop them.  Guest what?  The husband screamed “.. You Have No Right ..”  The wife screamed even louder, “.. discriminating .. ”  Both life guards happened to be black and the manager on deck was an Hispanic.  Living Color.

Lord, why are the Chinese so rude and ugly?  Chairman Mao, see what you’ve done to your fellow countrymen during your three decades of reign.  You didn’t just send us to the poor house, you also took away the civility and decency.  It needs 60 or even 100 years to restore.

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