The first thing that came into my mind after stepping off the train at Berlin Hauptbahnhof was: “OK, where is the swimming pool then?” An enormous number of people from all over the world flip-flapping in a multicultural rhythm, waving with colourful flags and eating sausages with curry sauce. It was short before the final game between France and Italy.
FInally I found my swimming pool in Berlin and it was everywhere, even inside my shoes, because the rain on that day turned southern part of the city into some kind of pond or other “lake-size” water-public object. I saw the city metro swimming under the water, dogs with cats in one puddle near the barber’s shop and much more, but I won’t tell you more because it is hard to understand. Completely wet and extremely tired I came back to my hotel trying to explain later what had happened there, why my whit-linen trousers are no more white as they were before (well, I don’t care anyhow) and trying to figure out the punchline of those days.
Then I realized that…
Berlin, just like other big cities in Europe. It is like a big swimming pool. Even in the middle of March without summer, beach, cocktails and those overwhelming flip-flops on every nation’s feet. Entrance is totally free, so you can forget about sneaking in and just enjoying your time here with other swimmers.
Who is a swimmer?
Well, it depends on which track you want to choose. There are several different ones, starting from the very shallow one through the average for averages and finishing at a pretty deep one, probably 4.50m or more, so watch your step and don’t plunge into the swimming pool too early! It might be dangerous.
In the water: black suits with silk ties, white shirts and pearl-white smiles, briefcases, letters and business cards, mobile phones, keys, cars, big offices, silver lifts, oak tables and credit cards. What else: Lufthansa tickets to Japan, Friday’s dinners and golf matches on every second Wednesday, delayed meetings, contact books, perfumes and necklaces, small golden rings and any possible jewellery you can imagine. They swim with all that stuff day and night, thinking about those empty trashes floating on the water surface. They are in the game.
Find the white line and prepare yourself for a signal. You are now a big shot, so just jump into the water wherever and whenever you want. Take a deep breath. From now on you can feel like a champion, moving your arms just like a shark moves his tail to reach the highest speed. There are no others, others are already gone. Move your arms and don’t forget about breathing. Repeat after me…
Back to Berlin
Nobody knows how many swimming pools are still open, where you can find them exactly and how many swimmers are participating in this no cup competition. Some of them might be seen in the middle of big cities walking in the dolphin style or moving their arms like butterflies. It is also impossible to get to know how wet we are and what is the depth of our everyday living. Maybe we are already under the water trying to take a deep breath?