Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shower goes fruit basket/trash can

Wrapped in plastic in order to protect yourself form the rain -fine. But wrapped in clingwrap before a gym workout? -Weird.

I’ve written a fair deal of gym posts since I started this blog, but seriously, I cannot help it: there’s something about gyms in China?!

Yesterday I did a good, 8km workout at the treadmill before hitting the shower room. As always, not my favourite part of working out, seeing that people use those showers to clear their throats/as bin bags.

Yesterday I was particularly unlucky. The first three showers I tried were either out of hot water (only happens to me I bet, all the other bloody showers had hot water! There was bloody steam rising from most shower booths!) or the water pressure was simply too low.

When I finally managed to locate a hot-water + normal pressure shower I looked to my left and saw a pile of something orange in the corner.

“What the h**” I thought to myself, looked closer and yeah, very well. A pile of orange peal! Somebody had taken an orange to the shower, eaten it, and put the peal on the floor in the shower. Seriously man? What are some people thinking?! How on earth can you just leave the trash on the floor of (what’s supposed to be) a hygienic shower room? Disgusting.

The fun didn’t end there. Once I stepped out of the shower and walked over to my dressing locker, I realized that the woman next to me was wrapping her body in clingwrap? Body part by body part was wrapped up, before she put her gym clothes on. I’ve seen similar “wrappings” take place at my old gym in Suzhou, however, I cannot help but wonder: why? Is it so that your clothes won’t go wet when you sweat? Because if it is, there are other solutions, demonstrated by most girls using the hairdryers. Who said they are only for drying your whole body after a shower? Lately I’ve noticed a lot of girls drying everything from their wet socks to underwear.

Ah… Chinese gyms. Some of the things I see simply make me laugh, like a girl reading a book in an aerobic class, a girl doing a sexy dance in the stretching room, or a man having a picnic at the treadmill. But finding a pile of orange peal in the shower? Nah, that doesn’t do it.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen at a Chinese gym?


miss. chief said...

hahahaha well I've never been in a Chinese gym but I have been in a Mexican one...there was a cowboy in full cowboy clothes including the hat drinking a beer once.

Anonymous said...

I have also seen the wrapping in plastic and I think it has something to do with sweating more and in that way, losing weight... There is a treatment in some european gyms where you wrap yourself in plastic and then exercise in a 40° cabin. It actually helps!

Anonymous said...

There is a diet thing where they tell you to use cling wrap on your body. I think it makes you sweat more or something like that. I saw it on the infomercials once; it was sold with a special cream.

The orange in the shower is just gross. People have strange ideas...

Yann Le Berre said...

Mmmmm. Parents letting their children playing around the work out machines (extremely safe... :-) )

The usual cruisers that are trying out the gym for the first time as it's free, who come there dressed up with city shoes, suits, dresses etc. and who try out a bit of all the machines not taking interest at all in what the trainer is trying to tell them.

Then for the wrapping in plastic it does not help at all, you'll sweat more but sweating more does not mean losing more weight.

njd said...

I go to a mostly expat gym to try to avoid some of this. It hasn't seemed to work out quite as I had planned.

I have seen a girl putting on vaginal cream. Can't you do that at home or atleast go into a stall???!!!! AND WASH YOUR HANDS AFTERWARD!

And a 5-7 year old boy (he looked 7 to me and was Asian so the likelyhood of him being older is very possible) in the ladies locker room taking a shower with his mother with a bunch of naked ladies walking around. Unfortunately I saw him after I had had a shower and had nearly started to dress, but fortunately I saw him in time to just go to a stall and dress.

I have never really complained at the gym, but I definitely had to about that situation. I understand that there are different cultures that do different things, but I also have a right to be comfortable without any young boys walking around the locker room naked watching me dress! It just made me feel creepy and a bit of a pervert.

I am sure I was not the only one that complained as I have never seen him there since...thankfully!

Melody said...

They do this in order to burn more calories or something. It's popular over here in NL as well. Funny enough, it's only the tiny skinny girls who do this. The people who actually have to lose weight don't.. But I think it's nonsense anyway.

The strangest thing that happened to me in a gym, was that this girl started to pedicure herself while sitting on a treadmill.. At that point, I had been waiting for her to finish her workout for like 15 minutes, and she just turned around, looked at me, grabbed some nailpolish from her backpocket, and did her thing. I left, a bit shocked in a way, and did my 6km workout in a nearby park.

Bagman and Butler said...

Wonderful post. I'm worn out just thinking about it. I think I'll skip the workout and just wrap myself in plastic and eat oranges.

Liz said...

In addition to lots of gross stuff in the changing rooms / showers (that I'd prefer not to remember but the memories get refreshed too often), I've seen weird action going on in the steam room. Instead of going in and simply sitting/standing, people seem to use the opportunity to continue their workout: doing stretches, kicking their legs, loudly slapping the whole body. This is followed by applying all sorts of hair / body care products (which in my previous gyms in Europe was banned), while complaining about the heat.

Unknown said...

Trash it is! Poor etiquette and no consideration for other users.Looks like going to the gym is quite an experience by itself!!

Jonna Wibelius said...

Hahahhahahahaha, u guys made my day by sharing this stories! I was laughing out loud when I read about your experiences!! Glad to hear I am not the only one finding the gym an exciting place to be at, and that you too have most odd experiences in the female's changing room! (I wonder what goes on in the male's changing room? Do they too use hair dryers to dry body parts?).

Njd's comment about the little male kid showering with the ladies took the price this time -hilarious!!!

Runner up must be Melody's "girl-on-the-treadmill-having-a-pedicure" observation...

Oh, and thanks for enlightening me when it comes to the benefits of exercising while wrapped in clingwrap... I had noidea!! And I still claim to read Runner's Times?! Funny they have not done a story on that... ;)

Thomas said...

In the males'showers, guys were washing each other (even the 'special' parts), peeing, spitting, lovely... Once a kid said to his father(I dont speak chinese very well)pointing at me: "lao wai...hair... monkey" Now Im doing push-ups at home!

Little Tiger said...

I'm looking forward to going to the gym in China. I just hope the ones that are western standard are not overly priced. Are jacuzzi,sauna,steam room, nice showers/changing rooms etc standard in Chinese gyms or would you have to go to an expat gym? How much is gym membership in general anyway? By the way, that orange peel thing is disgusting....I would have never even thought of eating in a shower in the first place.
The thing I notice at my gym here are people's Chinese character tattoos. Some are directly translated from English like 先爱 and once I even saw a huge guy with bulging muscles with 女力 on his arm??

Jonna Wibelius said...

Thomas -washing each other?!??! that sounds worse than what is going on over at the ladies... yikes!

Tiger -Annual gym memberships in Shanghai can cost everything from 1800- 18 000/year... depends what you want, what location, how much you bargain, and so on...

Those tattoos sounds hilarious, especially 女力 on Mr Muscle guy! I have never seen Chinese people with character tattoos before (people are normally too busy laughing at my embarrassing little tattoo.... when I was 16 I went to Cyprus and put 女 on my ankle...I was a bit of a rebel back then).

Matthew said...

I'm glad I didn't have enough money for a gym membership in China. I do remember seeing ads for something like plastic wrap to help women lose weight.

Even in the US I've done my best to avoid peak times at the gym...I just don't like having other people around.

Anonymous said...

You have 女 tattooed on your ankle!?!? no wonder people laugh at you. Wouldn't you laugh your ass off (and take a photo and write a blog about it) if you saw an Asian people with a 'female' tattoo?

Jonna Wibelius said...

Anonymous -yes I would, never said anything else. If I had a lot of cash Id remove that tattoo straight away. But then again, u r only 16 and stupid once!

Little Tiger said...

wow kind of expensive.
Come to think of it, maybe he wanted 努力 tattooed but instead got 'girl power'. haha
I also heard stories of people proudly pointing to their tattoo explaining how it means 'Love' in Chinese, when on closer inspection they actually have 恨 tatooed. Ignorance is bliss, right??
Also saw a man with 死 on his back. I'm not superstitious at all, but that SURELY is bad luck....don't care what anyone says.
By the way, I think a girl with a small tattoo on her ankle looks really nice imo. I once saw photo of a girl with a 乐 on her ankle once....beauuutiful!

Little Tiger said...

....I just wanted to bend down beside it and lic.....oooops wrong blog :]

K said...

There are community gyms in Shanghai for much less than 1800 / year. Some foreigners use them. The staff don't generally speak enough English to even take your money though.

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