Friday 31 August 2012
In Switzerland, cleanliness is more than next to godliness. It seems to trump absolutely everything else. And as lovely as it is to stroll along the country's über-clean streets and swim in clear, crisp water devoid of the floating plasters endemic in Britain's public pools, I sometimes wonder about their priorities.
Visiting one of the sprawling outdoor swimming pool complexes they do so well, towels were laid out on the grass with no worries about slimy patches of spilt toddler food or tossed-aside beer cans.
All well and good, but a brief survey proved that for the four pools that make up the complex – one toddlers' play pool, a huge children's pool, an Olympic-sized pool and a diving pool – there appeared to be only one lifeguard. And his priority did not appear to be policing the toddlers barrelling unaccompanied down slides or the teenagers larking about on the diving platforms.
As one young man ascended metal steps to the five-metre diving board – from which youngsters happily pushed each other, attempted shaky handstand dives, and bombed with impunity – the lifeguard rushed over shouting "douche, douche" (shower, shower).
The man in question, it seemed, had entered the hallowed cleanliness of the pool area without spending adequate time under the "obligatorisch" cold showers.
So, welcome to Switzerland. You won't get told off for trying to drown your mates, but sully their waters at your peril. And you know what? I'd rather that than floating plasters.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West
£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...
£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the South West'...