Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fingernail of the Moon Water Park...and Common Sense

 My long running feud with the absurdity of Asia continued over the weekend with an epic battle between myself, Chinese life guards at ...(wait for it) 'Fingernail of the Moon Water Park' in central Taiwan...and basic common sense.
 Fingernail of the Moon Water Park is pretty awesome... massive wave machine, fun rides, even a raunchy Filipino Maroon Five cover band!  (Oh yes... They are at a pay phone trying to call home!)  But of course, this being Asia... I was once again harassed by human stupidity.
 It all started with a bathing cap, a rubber bathing cap.  I don't like bathing caps.  They are tight and itchy and rubbery and scratchy and look silly.  But...in Asia you must wear them at all times at the water park.  Even if your long hair is running down  your back, you sill must put on the appearance of a bathing cap.  If you don't, you can't step into...even the three inches of a wading pool where your kids are splashing.  I know this because  I've quarreled many times with lifeguard over the years... (the life guards don't have to follow this rule but I must).  So this time I wore my bathing cap (which put me in a foul mood) and was standing in two inches of water when the kid blew his whistle and yelled at me to get out of the water.
"Why?"
"Because you're wearing a t-shirt," was his answer.  He blew  his whistle again.
Apparently, standing in two inches of water is a high crime if you are in swim trunks, a rubber bathing cap, and a dreaded t-shirt.
I asked the kid why?  He started laughing.  I asked the other kid why?  He said..."No!" Then blew his whistle at me again.  The other boy started laughing.  I asked what the rule was and I got a long list of rules in Chinese.  I asked why are these rules?  They said, "Because it is a rule."  Then he blew his whistle again as if an exclamation point.  I looked at this kid and said, "So, YOU can stand in the water in a t-shirt and without a rubber bathing cap with YOUR hair to YOUR shoulders, that's o.k., but I can't."  The boy said, "Yes, because I am a life guard."  Then he blew his whistle again, emphatically.
 (Roasted Pigeons) 

So I looked around, lots of people were wearing t-shirts and long sleeve swim shirts...this is tropics after all, it was over 100 degrees.  I pointed out to the life guards, (now there were five of them, none in bathing caps, all wearing whistles) that many of the patrons were wearing shirts in the pool.  The sun is blazing.  It's almost ... dangerous.  Now all five laughed.  "No.  No.  No.  We said no.  We are life guards.  Those are REGULATION shirts.  This is the rule."
I looked at my cotton T-shirt.  "This is not a regulation shirt?"
"No!"
"Why?"
"No!"
"But...?"
He was about to blow his whistle in my face again, but I gave him a look that said he'd be digging it out of his stool tomorrow...and he dropped his hands at his sides.
 (Asians love America, but are not ready for independence)

So I relented instead, I stepped six-inches to my right, now I was actually out of the wading pool and onto the concrete landing, and asked, "Is this better?"  The Chinese life guard said, "Yes, now you are OK."
 (Chinese helmets and gloves) 

I looked at this kid.  This ridiculous Asian kid with his green hair down to his shoulders and his whistle (give an Asian person a whistle and .... look out!) and his work gloves...why was he wearing rubber work gloves?  All I could do was shake my head.  Truly... it's time to get out of here.
There are times in Asia where I think I'm actually going crazy.  I really try to follow the rules here.  I really do.  Some day, common sense will arrive here, but I will be long gone.

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