Seeing a naked woman aka my first experience in an Italian pool

I started to swim at about 9 years old – it was part of an after school enrichment course I suppose. But all I can remember was how much fun I had. Swimming came naturally to me. And I used to swim so much that people thought that I was an Indian for a while.

My best friend E1 and I would head to the Jurong Town Swimming Complex. It was interesting as I remember that it had a very tall diving board and that edge of the pool was about 4 meters deep.

Jurong Swimming Pool 01Dec2007 (5)
Picture by Good Morning Yesterday

As kids we’d do silly things like rolling off the edge and into the pool. Impulsively, I pushed him down the pool and ran away. Later, he looked at me all bewildered, and told me that he hit a couple of swimmers below. I was such a naughty kid.

The pool has since been converted into a hockey rink, much to my horror. So we had to travel a little more to go to the one in Jurong East. Come to think about it, even the stadium next to the pool is closed to the public. My mum can’t do her morning jogs there anymore.

</grandfather stories>

Anyway, I miss going swimming. Although I balk at the thought of paying about 10 euro just to swim at a public pool here in Rome, perhaps going for a course at one could be cheaper.

And so I dragged Cart to take me to a couple in the neighbourhood. After searching and inquiring, I signed myself up for aquagym at the pool which is within walking distance to my house. If you’re wondering how much it costs there – it costs yearly 30 euro sign up and 11.50 euro for two times a week. Oh and it is also compulsory to show them a medical certificate from a doctor.

The Piscina Communale Roma 12 isn’t a classy looking place, but it isn’t a bad place either. It’s an indoor pool, the place is clean and the pool is heated.

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I can’t take pictures in the pool, so here is a swimming kitty instead

And so I went to my first aquagym class yesterday, I took my pass at the segreteria and then went through the ladies to change. There is a connecting door to the pool and then I handed my pass to the caretaker there.

I met a couple of ladies there and we started our aquagym proper. It was a lot of fun. It’s kind of like regular gym, but only in water. Every movement feels slowed down and less rigorous. But it was still a challenging workout anyway.

After our our course, I headed off the to shower to clean up. But when I reached there, I was very puzzled. I see shower heads … but where are the doors? Where are the curtains? Huh?

And that’s when I saw a lady showering … naked … She looked so noncholant. Like it was natural for her. And then two of the ladies from aquagym started to strip off their swimming costumes while all the time, chatting animatedly to each other.

I.. Uhm… Ehm… Uh…

My heart just sank momentarily … I don’t want to show my naked self! I felt so panicky and so out of place that zoom! I just jumped in and jumped out of the shower and hurriedly found a corner to dry myself and put on my regular clothes and get the heck out of there.

I know. I know. It’s just me. Most Europeans wouldn’t bat an eye to nudity. There are even topless women on Italian television … but nevertheless … I feel so shy uncovering myself in the open …

16 thoughts on “Seeing a naked woman aka my first experience in an Italian pool”

  1. Ah, I’d hate communal showers too! I feel your pain. BUT it’s not too bad if you don’t know anyone there and maybe it’s just a matter of getting used to it? Choose the last shower cubicle, if that helps.

    1. Yes, I’m lucky that I don’t really know anyone there since I was new. Today it was easier because while the rest of the women were chatting among themselves, I was able to shower quietly by myself in the last cubicle :-)

  2. Yes, in Italy it is quite normal, you go to the swimming pool and your are supposed to have shower naked together with people you don’t know, of your same sex. Just a question of habit..I remember being a teenager and having shower with my underwear with friend after the football training, we were all shy like you that time, but when you grow older in here you usually tend to be more comfy with the idea of showing your “belongings” :-)

    1. Yeah, I think it is a matter of getting used to. Today it was easier for me because I knew what to expect compared to the complete shock that I had on Wednesday. Moreoever I was lucky because the rest of the women are chit chatty and they talked among themselves giving me the chance to shower quietly by myself :-)

  3. That reminds me of the first time I experienced a communal shower in the Army, during a training exercise. We all pretended like we didn’t see each other. Americans generally aren’t that comfortable with group nudity either. Generally. There are exceptions.

    1. Really? I thought that communal showers are a common thing since high school. But I’m only saying this because of what I know from American tv shows :p

      1. Not that I recall. In fact, we didn’t even use showers in high school, which is kind of gross now that I think about it. We did PE and then just went back to our other classes. Maybe our school didn’t even have a working shower area?

        Americans are fairly uptight about public nudity, which is why you don’t find many, if any, nude beaches around here, compared to Europe. No topless women on public television, either. Most people say that Americans are sexually repressed, and that’s why we’re so stressed out all the time.

  4. hmm i would feel very shy too, we asians aren’t used to such openness :)
    it’s okay to feel uncomfortable, you don’t need to follow if you don’t feel right.

  5. Lol!! My sentiments exactly! That’s why I hardly make use of the shower in my club, I’d rather rush home all sweaty and take my shower in peace the few times I managed to get my butt into the gym! But actually I also see ladies taking shower in their swimming costumes and then head to the adjoining loo to change.

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