Thermal pools

I've been in New Zealand for 19 months now and I'm still surprised at the differences.

I was just thinking about the first time I was at a public thermal pool. It was outside of Auckland, in July--cold as can be--and a new experience on my second day in the country. My first reaction was excitement for a new experience combined with a bit of sensory confusion. 

Picture this: It's cold, it's raining on-and-off and we walk into the pools area. Some pools have covers stretched across them, some are totally open to the elements, some are totally enclosed, but all have steam rising in alluring abundance. We also see a varied combination of people: some in wet bathing suits running across the courtyard, others bundled in parkas and sitting at picnic tables plus many others in various in-between degrees of undress, some wet, some dry. It's a brand-new experience for me as I realized that this sight is an every-day occurrence here.

The changing rooms are culturally different too, as they have a big common-room for dressing and common showers. Fortunately, I'm not a prude, so I don't have a problem with it, but I smile to myself thinking about some people that I know that would end up changing into togs in the loo!!

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