Culture clash + water = speedo

I had an interesting ‘lost in translation’ moment this week.

Keen to regain a sense of normality and routine into my new Taiwanese lifestyle I got a membership to the local pool. Membership in hand, I made my way to the poolside, but before I could wet a foot, one of the lifeguards apologetically pulled me aside and informed me that my swim suit was a fashion faux pas.

Before Lifeguard intervention

But it wasn’t just a fashion mistake, speedos are regulation here. See poolside poster below:

So now I walk around Taiwan with serious attitude like this guy…

Approximation of how Luke looks thanks to lifeguard intervention - may not be to scale.

Some of you may be thinking, “yeah right Luke, you’ve been looking for an excuse to wear speedos for ages”, but that’s unkind and only a little true.

The next part of the story is perhaps more reflective of Taiwan. Terrorising the pool with my new speedos a young man tapped me on the shoulder between laps to say, “excuse me sir, in Taiwan we swim on the right side of the lane, I’m concerned that you will bump into someone on the left, so sorry to interrupt you.” Silly me, I thought everyone swam on the left side of the pool – just like in New Zealand. I thanked the polite young man and have been swimming on the right ever since.

This has been a guest blog by Luke 

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