I love swimming. I was tempted to say “love good pools” but I realized I don’t swim because of the pool. Water doesn’t count that much.
So months after the ceremonial ground breaking ceremony of the building of the Olympic size pool, I was over anxious to swim in the completed masterpiece. There was another very colorful ceremony to officially open the pool to the JKUAT community. It was nice, followed by very attractive coverage in the media. Who wouldn’t wanna try out that pool, really?
I couldn’t wait for the weekend. So that I could get dipping in that pool. On the selected day my friends and I arrived at the pool which is quite a distance from the main gate. That did not matter much. The pool area was poorly fenced & Juja being a dry and windy area for the better part of the year, I already had an idea of where the dust settles at. I wasn’t inside the compound yet. Inside the compound we said hi to the lifeguards, which we always did whenever we got to a new pool & answered the usual questions in regards to experience and conduct at the pool. They also gave us a brief introduction of the pool area. They deserved credits for that part.
Our swimming team has got several ladies and some of them were in our company that day. They all declined. The water was “too dirty” for them to swim. I wouldn’t have advised them to enter that pool myself. I have seen what it does to the lesser boys. If they were of my kind, it wouldn’t have been okay. To them it was a matter of beauty, but I had seen cases of fungal infections on the red side of the scale after some mud baths back in B Camp. The floor was barely visible for there was a brown green tint in the water which darkened towards the deep end. The lane markers were almost invisible.
I did not care about the color of the water; I had dipped in murkier waters. I headed to the pay point, secured tickets for the interested – cough. 2 Only, it was that bad. The guards – watchmen who were by the poolside were nagging with their constant payment anthem. The price was fair I did not see the reason why I would want to steal my way into such.
The shower rooms and changing rooms are okay; just the normal flooding that is at most changing rooms. The area around the pool is a large, roughly grassed field. It’s a good thing that they have tried to irrigate the grass. Some months down the line it will be a good spot. The immediate poolside is roughly tiled & being on the same level, dust/ soil for that matter was easily collecting on the tiles & swimmers automatically carried it to the pool. Foot baths are non existent & with the children population I saw in that pool, the filtration system would never handle the inflow of dust and other particles into the water. There were no poolside benches or luggage stowage. So spectators should carry their own settees.
The favorite underwater is a hard thing to come by here. I even wonder why they allowed me to go ahead with it… In most of the pools, whenever the water is not so clear; you are not allowed to pull any underwater stunts. This was an exception. I only went ahead since, the rebellious me would have had a thrill of a lifetime. Unfortunately the floor was filthy. It was like sweeping a dusty road. With every full circle of the arms, the dust would part & rise like ruffled feathers… it was a layer as thick as I had never seen in any pool. There is some laxity somewhere. Meaning the pool floor had stayed un-swept & un-vacuumed for quite a while. To make it worse, to the feel of it, they had over-chlorinated the water and used excessive antifungal on it as well. The itchiness was unbearable. To crown it all at one corner of the deep end- that is where the wind was blowing towards, was the worst case of yellowish brown scum & thin foam I ever experienced in a swimming pool. The attendants did not seem bothered at all.
Maybe I had just chosen a bad day for swimming in this particular pool, but nothing was adding up. The custom minimum time of one hour, could not be persevered. I was out of the pool sooner than I had expected. I cannot even tell how it was at the shallow end. That would have been another story. The shallow end always has its story. The baby pool was another laboratory project. I expected the highest standards of hygiene to be abided by here since kids are more likely to get affected by such environments more than adults.
It’s a good pool with lots of potential for
hygiene, but until the grass grows & fully covers the soil, & that fence is completed to break the dusty wind, see you Olympic pool.