Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ah, Europe!

Oh, I have been remiss about reporting all the funny things that have happened over the summer and on our various trips. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Copenhagen, Ohio, Torremolinos: it was all nice and that’s probably already more than you need to know.

More interesting, to me anyhow, was the culture shock of returning, dare I say it, home where home=Bratislava. How on earth that happened, I don’t know.

Anyhow, we took the kids to the amusement park in Austria recently. There has always been a sort of water play area in this amusement park, with little flowing rivers you can dam up with locks and gates. There are waterfalls and jets that squirt at regular intervals. But it never seemed appropriate to get wet while playing there.

However, this time when we arrived at this point in the amusement park we were greeted by an army of naked toddlers and little kids, children who had clearly anticipated getting wet and had come prepared to do so with towels. Oh, there was some swimwear, but that was the minority. Most kids were either bucknaked (and those tended to be tan all over, demonstrating that they had clearly spent most of the summer this way), or in their underpants.

I related this little incident to a fellow expat who responded with a variation of her own. She was at a wedding at a country club just outside of Bratislava. There is a nice swimming pool at this club (I’ve even swum there . . . it is nice and very kid friendly). When the bride appeared on the lawn nearby, all the little naked children ran over to watch the wedding. They stood there, entranced, like little cherubs bringing tidings of good fortune and fertility. No one in the wedding party batted an eye nor made to shoo them away. No one at the pool sought to reclaim them.

Ah Europe . . .


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