Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.


I don't know quite what to think of what happened this afternoon at the pool.

It was a nice day today, like most every day this time of the year, so Jeremy and I took Miriam to the pool near Reid Park. We like that pool because it has a fun zero-entry pool with some fountains and a lazy river, as well as a separate warm-water therapy pool.

We were just about finished with our visit and were toweling off near the therapy pool when all of a sudden, I heard Jeremy exclaim, "Hey, you can see that kid's bum!"

I looked up (what would you do?) and saw that a young teenage boy's swim trunks were sagging down so low that, in fact, you could see the vast majority of his bum. In another moment, I realized that the boy was one who had been in the pool near us earlier. I took notice at the time because he seemed to be slightly mentally challenged, and also because his dad gave the following instructions to his little brother, who accompanied him in the pool: "Don't leave him alone!"

Well, apparently the little brother had left him alone, because here he was running around half naked in a public pool area.

As we looked on, the boy's behavior grew even more bizarre. He ran up to a lady sitting poolside and kind of grappled around her face. She waved him away, laughing nervously at the increasingly absurd nature of the situation, as were we all. Then, he must have decided that his swim trunks were a hindrance to his cavorting, because off they came.

There was now a fully naked teenage boy running around the pool. I heard lots of gasps from parents who, I assume, were now trying to cover their children's eyes. The lifeguards all jumped down from their perches to approach the kid. But he couldn't be caught - he was running full speed around the pool, buck naked.

He ran to the far side of the pool, grabbed some bags of people's belongings, and threw them in the water. Then, perhaps realizing that there was one very important pool rule, which is not generally posted but is very widely understood, that he had not yet broken (not wearing a swimsuit and running in the pool area having been covered already), he went to the edge of the pool, stood fully upright, and promptly urinated into the nearest lap lane.

I was horrified, and yet terribly amused. I looked over and saw one of the lifeguards doubled up with laughter. The lifeguard near us was laughing, too. Two poor female lifeguards had been pursuing him earlier but were now keeping their distance.

He ran around a little longer without anyone challenging him. Eventually, the little brother showed up to help (I don't know where he had been, but I'm sure he got a surprise upon re-entering the pool area) and he and the lifeguards were able to corral the escaped kid and wrap a towel around him.

As we walked back towards the locker rooms, we saw a veiled lady who was purposely keeping herself and her young daughter out of view from the pool area. When we passed her, we heard her say in Arabic, after peeking around the corner, "Is he done?" It was Jeremy's pleasure to inform her that the streaker was, in fact, done.

I wonder if this kind of thing has happened before at the pool. And I also have to wonder if a few more households than normal are having a talk about the birds and the bees with their children this evening.

Jane Austen & Kylie Minogue

I beg to differ