The reasons I love my gym are:
- Free creche service (kinderbetreuung, doesn’t that word just roll off your tongue?)
- It’s cheap! €45 a month for weekday morning membership
- It’s pretty, all purple lights. Even the sauna has alternating colours, something that is supposed to relax me but has the opposite effect, like being trapped in a confined hot space with a schizophrenic “I’m blue! No red! No pink! No Blue!” Pick a colour and stick with it for crissakes!
The reasons it drives me up the wall are:
- There are no partitions in the shower, not that I have body shame or envy, but do I really need to see you lather up your unmentionables? Ah, no, don’t think so.
- The shower is on a timer. Like 45 seconds or something. So when I crucially need the water because I’ve got soap in my eyes, there is no water. I’ve got to grope the wall until I find it, and there is NO PARTITION. MY EYES ARE CLOSED. AND I’M NAKED! Tell me, is there a water shortage in Berlin or something? Because from where I’m standing, it’s literally coming down in buckets. Who decided the timer on that thing? 45 seconds? A man probably (sorry boys). They are the only ones that think a shower and getting wet are the same concepts.
- They follow the rules to the L E T T E R. So if I want to book my 2 year old into the creche four days before I always get the “Sorry, we only accept bookings 3 days before.” Even though my kid is usually the only one in there. And it means they will receive a garbled phone call from me trying to pronounce Kinderbetreuung. Or take Monday, I arrived with my hair straightener, clothes, shampoo, Polar fitness monitor but forgot my towel.
“Can I rent a towel?” I ask.
“Leider nicht.” (By the way, Leider nicht translates as regrettably / sadly / unfortunately no. But what I hear when people say that is: you lose suckaaa! It’s just so passive aggressive!)
“Okay, can I buy a towel?”
“So you have no towels in the gym.”
“Leider nicht. If you want, you can go to Butler’s down the road and see if they are selling some?”
Because that’s the solution I was looking for, going out in the rain, walking for 15 minutes and getting one of those acrylic towels that are designed to repel water. I figure, I can try to dry myself with paper towels and see how far that gets me when my eyes fall upon a special massage deal on offer that day: ’20 minutes for €15′. I go back up to the ‘no’ girl. “So I could book a massage here right?”
“And if I book a massage, well then, they give me a towel so I don’t go in there all smelly and sweaty right?”
“Yessssss.” she answered, suspicious as to where I was going with all this.
“Ok, great, so I will have a massage in 2 hours and take the towel now if you that’s alright with you.”
She stalled a bit with that one, not sure if she was agreeing to some illicit concept. “Umm, yes, well, ok.”
“Great!” I patted her heartily on the back. “Good thing I forgot my towel then!”
I’m telling you, she didn’t know what hit her. She went into the revolving door and came back out on the street where she started. And I enjoyed a great massage, the first one I’ve had in years.
I got a big kick out of that. From not letting an inconvenience ruin my day and set me in the whole “Aw man, it’s one of those days, I’m giving up on this day, I will try to do better tomorrow.” Then slump back home and play 10 games of Tiny Wings on my iphone (how embarrassing, I’m deleting that app! No, I’m not.)So I went home and continued the day on a high, deciding to tackle a pastry as difficult as the ‘no’ girl at the gym. Puff pastry. Read more of this post