One of the big downsides with working full-time is that I am now no longer privileged with the choice of avoiding the gym during peek hours. Instead, I have to squeeze in between naked body parts and tiny gym lockers like all the other working ladies. One of the biggest issues have proven to be that there is no such thing as “getting fresh” after a workout at a gym in Shanghai.
For starters, there is about 45 degrees in the changing room. Steamy, hot and humid air is making me sweat almost more than what I do on the treadmill.
Second of all –the nakedness is making me nauseous. I never considered myself as prude, but I am starting to question my statement. One of the most stupid rules at the whole gym is that girls need to pay for gym towels (5 rmb/towel). As a result of this, no one bothers to use one. I mean, why should you when there are plenty of hairdryers that you can use for free!
So, girls wander around, butt naked to the showers and escape some moments later, still naked but now dripping wet, grab a hairdryer and start drying themselves… from tip to toe. Watching this (not that I do, but it it kind of hard to not see it) is everything but pleasant. Even if I would decide to stay and shower (I always go home and shower), I would not want to touch those hairdryers! Despite the fact that they come with labels (“for blow-drying head hair only!) nobody bothers with obeying the “rules.”
Even though it was pretty much the same story in at my old gym in Suzhou, that place was not as busy (and included some of my best China buddies –gosh, I miss Rocky!), making me miss it tremendously. Shanghai may be perceived as a cosmopolitan city by many, but anyone who’s been inside the female’s changing room at the gym, knows there is still a far way to go.