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Have I got your attention? Are you curious as to what I am talking about?

Whenever we travel, we try taking our little man to local pools, parks, and libraries.  We love to immerse ourselves in culture, sometimes, it backfires and we get a little too much culture.

One Sunday when we were in Colmar, France. We decided to go to the local pool. It was in walking distance from the old part where we were staying, and it was a state of the art facility. It cost 5 euros for each adult and our son was free. It was a pretty good deal for a few hours of fun, on a Sunday, when everything is closed.

My husband showed up in his usual swimwear, O’NEILL board shorts.


When we got inside of the change room, there were signs, in French, saying no Street Wear. O.k. it is all good, we didn’t think anything of it. We changed our son, and got excited to get to the baby pool.

15 minutes in, a lifeguard came up to my husband to tell him to get out of the pool. Whaaaat? My husband asked why, the lifeguard then switched to English, and said that board shorts were unacceptable in the pool. Only Speedo’s were allowed. My husband was a little baffled, we had never been kicked out of chlorinated pool with board shorts, this would be the first.

The lifeguard walked away, my husband was sitting in a foot of water, playing with our son. I was sitting there a little baffled. The lifeguard came back, and said, you can borrow my suit, and lifted up the most disgusting used Speedo we have ever seen! Trying to be polite, my husband declined and got out of the pool. The lifeguard then told him that he couldn’t be at the side of the pool without wrapping a towel around his waist, which he obliged, still a little confused by the strict rules. I was still a little stunned, and was trying desperately not to burst into laughter.

The ironic thing, was all the lifeguards were wearing red shorts that looked similar to these:


I was trying to figure out why the lifeguards didn’t have speedo’s on? What did they do if they had to jump in the pool? Did they have Speedo’s on underneath, but if they did, then had the lifeguard taken them off to give them to my husband? Not sure about the hygiene on that one!

We tried walking out as graciously as possible, we had a lot of nasty looks and fits of laughter. As I walked out, I realized there were vending machines on our right with various suits in plastic balls for 10 Euro (didn’t realize you could get one out of vending machine). When we got out of the building, we burst into laughter. Being offered a used Speedo was the craziest offer we had received up to that point.

It was a bit of a culture shock, never thought to read up on swimwear policy at a pool in France, but now we know! If you are thinking of going to a public pool on your next adventure, make sure you know what swimwear is appropriate, or you might be offered a used Speedo!

Travel Lady with Baby

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