Tuesday, May 01, 2007


February 2003

Back on the coach, I remembered that Maggie had told me to bring some shorts for swimming. ‘Why?’ I asked her.
‘Oh, that’s right honey, we are going to the spa’
‘Now I think, I can’t always tell what the girl is saying. You know I don’t know the mandarin that well’

An hour later, we arrived at what proved to be ‘the spa’. To me, it seemed exactly the same as any 1960’s built municipal swimming pool.

We had to change in separate changing rooms. I was ready in a few minutes, but Maggie took an age. Eventually she came out, looking lovely in a bikini. All the other girls wore swimming costumes. Maggie was clearly a little bit unhappy.

We walked around the pool, to the deep end, and I dived in and swam a couple of lengths. When I got back, Maggie was sat on the side, ‘so cold honey’ she said.

It took a lot of coaxing to get her into the pool. She swam half a length, then turned to me and said ‘see that guy sat up there? He looked at me the whole time. So horrible guy. I hate him. I hate those dirty guys, always looking at the girls’

We swam for a while. Maggie found it quite difficult. Then we went into the steam room. It was full, for a while we had to stand. ‘My swim clothes are broken honey. Can you see through them?’
‘No babe, anyway I am always happy to see your body’
‘But what about the other guys?’
‘Don’t worry about that babe’
‘Of course I worry about that. It is for your eyes only, not for the other guys. You should think about that too.’

For a while she was quiet. When our hour was up, we left the pool, returning to the coach. Maggie fell asleep again. I held her until we arrived at Guandong.

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