Friday, November 14, 2008

Open Air Pool

August 2008. It's been too hot for too long, and I'm receiving the first few drops. Nothing serious yet, but it will change quickly. And I forgot to bring an umbrella.

The first shelter is 10 m behind, a taxi waiting 20 m ahead. I decide to go ahead.

Wrong pick. All of a sudden hell breaks loose and whole buckets start falling over me. The time to reach the cab, I'm soaked to the bone.

The drivers studies me and his face tells it all : "I'm sorry, but I can't take you : you would ruin my seats".

Stupidly standing under the pouring rain, I'm cursing myself. I've got no choice but to walk back home.

And then I realise that I can also swim back home.

Cheonggyecheon is right in front of me but I won't even have to step in : right now, it's as if I were already in the streamlet, taking a shower. Besides, the water feels good and warm. So why not enjoy it fully ?

I'm "swimming" on the sidewalks with a big smile on my face, now. Crammed under small umbrellas, passers-by roll their eyes or smile back. Some look almost jalous. At the Jongno-Sejongno crossing, I meet a fellow swimmer. We wave happily at each other, and for the first time I understand that we are the only ones not looking stupid, after all. It's a beautiful city, a beautiful day, a beautiful moment.

Home is getting closer and I'll have to find a way in without flooding the entrance. But that's a different story.

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