DUBROVNIK, CROATIA: I cannot swim. It’s not something I ever learned to do as a child. No one took me to a pond and threw me in. I never went to swim school on the weekends, nor was it something I felt like I was missing out on. This could be because I come from a long line of non-swimmers. My mother, my grandmother, and I would bet every great grandmother on the Japanese side going back.
Funny enough, I hadn’t realised swimming was something you had to learn. Each summer our Wednesday afternoons were occupied with trips to the country club for “kids day”. It was something the school I attended managed to set up for us. This must have been my second or third grade. All my friends were there, changed into their swimsuits, as did I. Giggling and racing to get into the water I followed them through the hall and into the giant indoor swimming pool. Everyone jumped in. All my friends splashed and frolicked while I sank. It hadn’t occurred to me there was something to know, some trick to keeping your head above water.
It was all pretty quick, I was pulled out by an adult or perhaps a bigger kid, lifted onto the poolside I coughed a few times and threw up all the water I had inhaled. What happened? I was still confused by it all. To make matters worse I was not allowed back in the water, even the shallow side. I was sent back to the locker room to get dressed and would have to sit the rest of the day out next to the chaperone. When I reached the dressing room the lights were out, so I reached up to the light switch and worse than a near drowning experience I was electrocuted to the floor, reeling from the double whammy shock. Continue reading “Water like Jell-O”