Yesterday I thought I would go swimming, and as I would be on my own, would find the cheaper version of swimming pool, i.e. public, indoor, and according to all the online resources, to be found at Shanghai Indoor Stadium. This decision was quite reasonable, even though I had had a long morning last week trying to find what was listed as closest to us swimming pool, and eventually found the location, but that pool was closed. Once again, plans did not work out. I found the “Shanghai Swimming Center”, in the middle of the Shanghai Stadium, which is a complex of shops, hotels, streets, walkways, and both the “Stadium” and the “Indoor Stadium” as well as other ‘centers’.
[Found myself longing for my friend John Strachan’s artwork series, the Swimming Centaur, the Art Centaur, the Health Centaur etc – if you read this anyone who knows John, did he ever put them online?]
It is a long way to walk around it, and is only one part of the whole complex. In spite of the emphasis on sport, the other emphasis of modern Shanghai is EATING. The ‘shops’ are mostly restaurants, everything from MacDonalds to Japanese, with gourmet and corporate chinese dining at every level in between. And – did I forget to say – the swimming pool centre is CLOSED. By the time I found it, I am in fact pretty sure that it is the same swimming pool as I tried to find last week, just the directions from the online sites give addresses on either side of the complex… I think… remember I am trying to follow a combination of english, chinese and pin-yin.
So, I had a lot of exercise. I also tried to see what happened inside the stadium, as I could hear lots of sports type noise though could not say whether it was something like basket-ball or five-a-side or just TV coverage of something. So, I went up the set of steps on the left of the statues, which I happened to be standing beside at the time. But at the top, 45 steps up, I counted on the way down, the gates were closed. So I gave up, found my way to the main street, interpreted signs as best I could and returned home eventually.