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You All Swim Like Dolphins

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Written by Matt   
Thursday, 22 April 2010 21:39

Yesterday, prostate my friend Kent and I stopped by Gamboa Rainforest Resort to use their pool. Unlike other hotel pools in the city that are always suspicious of non-guests, viagra sale Gamboa poses few if any obstacles to trespassers, buy mainly, I suppose, because it’s so isolated. Aside from the obvious delight of swimming, I enjoy hanging out in Panama hotels because it offers a nice window into the current state of tourism in this country. We ran into a woman from Kentucky who had a deep southern accent and when I asked her how someone from Kentucky decided to vacation in Panama, she pointed to the pool bar and said, “his dumb ass.”

Swimming etiquette at the Albrook pool is surprisingly strict considering how old the facilities are.

Identifying (what I assumed was) her husband in a crowd of people seemed unlikely so I chose to believe she was referring to the waiter at the swim-up bar, as in, he (the bartender) was the family bread winner. He was bringing home the bacon.

When it’s swimming as exercise I’m after, I go to Albrook behind El Rey where there’s a World War II era Olympic pool with locker rooms and showers right out of the sixties. The vomit-colored tiles and campaign bunting stretched across the lanes remind me of vintage home movies my aunt used to keep stacked below her television labeled things like Summer at Jersey Shore and Maine Retreat ’52.  We loved to watch them at family get-togethers and marvel at how small everyone used to be.

Just this morning, I complimented two Panamanian women on their freestyle. “You all swim like dolphins,” I said using my favorite, the ustedes form, and they smiled the way you might around a young child just discovering something beautiful in the world like airplanes or Oreo cookies.

Swimming etiquette at the Albrook pool is surprisingly strict considering how old the facilities are. People with hair longer than an inch are required to wear caps, you must shower before entering the pool, and – just like pools in more developed countries – under no circumstances may you run.

The other person I like at my pool, despite being about ten years younger than me and having only one leg, is my idol when it comes to speed. I was trying to calculate how less resistance you’d have to deal with, with only one leg, when he told me he was practicing to swim the Strait of Gibraltar.

“This Strait of Gibraltar…how many hours is going to be this trip?” I asked.

“Eighteen hours more or less.”

“Wow,” I said. “How…large.”
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Last Updated on Monday, 26 April 2010 11:52