Thursday, August 21, 2008

What do you do at the park?

I thought about some things that I find funny whenever we visit the water park at KLCC. There are huge gardens outside the KLCC mall with walking paths, a large kids park and a water park, a shallow pool for kids with fountains, waterfalls, the works. I took John & Emily there this morning and let John have a ball jumping, splashing and falling down to his heart's content while I held Emily and followed him around in water up to my calves. The first funny thing is the presence of policewomen/guards of some kind at this water park. No, they're not there to act as lifeguard in case a child is in danger. They're not even there to watch that there's no purse-snatching going on. Their purpose is to eye the perimeter of the pool area where the cement turns into tiny blue tiles and vehemently blow their whistles at anyone who walks on said tile with shoes. No shoes. No flip-flops. Not even a fact if you come within 5 inches of those tiles and you are wearing footwear of any kind I will tweet at you anyway, just so you know I'm watching. Take those shoes off, mister, I'm warning you. I've got a whistle and I know how to use it.

Of course these woman (never men, always women) have another purpose, something demonstrated to us last time we visited the water park. There are absolutely NO diapers allowed in this pool. None. But unfortunately they have never heard of Lil' Swimmers (standard for any parent in the U.S. taking their kids to the pool) which means that the kids all swim with just suits EVERY age. In fact, some don't even make any pretenses about swimming suits and are just wandering around in their underwear. No joke. Cotton, see-through, flimsy underwear. So aside from the fact that this idea makes me cringe, I push the idea of communicable diseases out of my mind and let the kids have fun. However, MY child will be wearing a Lil' Swimmer. Oh yes, he will. (Thankfully we can find them at the foreign supermarkets). But that did not stop me from almost getting into a fist-fight with whistle-blowing lady when we went there for John's birthday in February and she tried to tell me my son couldn't get into this petri dish pool and splash around because HE had a diaper on. It doesn't work to explain to someone who doesn't speak English that IT'S NOT A DIAPER so finally I just shrugged, told her "no Bahasa" and ignored her for the rest of the afternoon. Then of course she tried the same thing on Michael (he was already in the water with John) and he ended up wanting to throttle her too, but I guess something in our tones made her realize we were serious because she eventually moved on.

The funny thing about today, though, was during one of her obscene whistling episodes, after frantically waving and tweeting at a man on the opposite side of the pool who was wandering around the sacred blue tile with his sandals on, instead of taking 30 seconds and walking AROUND the pool and accosting the criminal on the other side, she walked onto the tile with her shoes on!, crossing the raised platform that goes through the middle of the pool so she could wave at him from a better vantage point. The nerve of some people. So I have little patience with whistle-lady at the pool, but as long as I stay clear of the tile with my sandals on, and as long as I dress John inconspicuously with his Lil' Swimmer underneath his swimsuit, we can pleasantly ignore each other.

I always find things that strike me as bizarre when we go to KLCC park (not the least of which is the creepy phenomenon of groups of men who are apparently all there on dates and come take pictures of each other in front of this pool...where kids are playing...not their own me crazy but if I saw guys doing that in the States I would call the cops immediately...too bad that isn't part of whistle-lady's job description) so I'm sure I'll be ruminating on those next time we go. Maybe next time I'll just put John in a bio-hazard suit and call it good.

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