Monday, November 17, 2008

Strange customs...

We act differently when we think people aren't looking...

On our holiday in the King River Valley recently, my family was the last to leave. My wife had washing in the machine, and as the kids were getting restless, she sent me off with them down to the river.

Well, my kids are like ducks around water. Or fish. You can't keep them out of it.

"Can we paddle in the water, Dad?"

I knew that if I let them, their clothes would be soaked from top to bottom.

"Only if you take off your clothes."

They didn't know what to think of that at first - but, when I assured them that we were in complete wilderness and there wasn't another soul around for at least a mile, they stripped off and jumped in. A good time was had by all.

I explained that such is the custom in Eastern Europe, where (so I am told) it is customary to swim in public at lakes, rivers and the beach quite starkers. Some friends told me once that they were quite shocked when travelling in East Germany some decades back with a female Pastorinnen, when she took them to the local lake to go swimming. Arriving at the destination, she proceeded to strip off and jump in. Leaving them to hunt around for a place to change into their togs.

Foreign places have always had strange customs. Perhaps this explains the behaviour of this reverend gentleman from the East...

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