miðvikudagur, ágúst 10, 2005

emptydalslaug

I went to my "daily driver" swimming pool, , the other day and found the parking lot completely empty. This was strange indeed, as the last time this swimming pool was closed was New Year's Day. It's open all the time: 6:30 am until 10:30 pm weekdays and almost as long on the weekends. The entrance is like the revolving door in the famous Willy Horton ad that downed Mike Dukakis' Presidential aspirations: criminals constantly cycling in and out, all day long. Only here they're carrying swim bags, and most of them look more geriatric than criminal.

Anyway I parked in the empty lot and walked up to the entrance, still hoping in my heart that maybe the reason the lot was empty was that I was the only one who had remembered to go to the pool that day. There was a sign on the door that began in Icelandic, "Dear customers..." It said the pool is shut down for repairs until Saturday. In English, someone had scrawled the word "CLOSED" in a black Sharpie at the bottom.

Closed? Repairs? That place doesn't need no repairs. It's a gem!

Actually, it could use a little work. It's around 40 years old, and all those photo shoots for the tourist brochures and NYT articles make it look a lot better than it actually does. I walked around the side and the motley collection of construction vans was reminiscent of preseason Fenway Park repairs: a bathroom fixture truck, a tile truck, a grout truck. The side gate to the pool was open so I peeked in to see the whole massive pool completely empty, lane dividers strewn around haphazardly at one end. It was an unnatural view, this pool that sheltered and warmed me all through the winter, completely devoid of water, the green tile bottom of the main pool glaring straight back at me. At the side, where steam usually pours forth round the clock, the hot tubs sat empty, too. Nothing more than empty holes in the ground. That Grand Old Lady, the Queen of Reykjavík swimming establishments, had been denuded.

But I'm psyched to see what kinda crazy repairs and improvements they can come up with. 8 new hot tubs, maybe? A bungee-slingshot waterslide? Some kinda English-sign-marked Special Hot Tub for loud-talkin' tourists? Whatever it is, I'm sure it's gonna do the old girl proud. I'll keep you posted, faithful readers.

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