You are here

Self-obsessed travel update #3 Addendum: The Bats

This brief addendum is necessary because in my last letter I forgot about the bats. The bats are important. I don't know how they escaped my mind.

I. The Bats

The Olympic-sized pool at the Stadium is outdoors. We got there shortly
after sunset and there was no one in the water. We thought it might be
closed but as the gate was still open we went int. They were closed, we
were told, but out of charity or curiosity the attendant whose meal we
had interrupted had no problem letting us swim as long as we payed our
dollar and had regulation (tight) bathing suits. My bathing suit did not
meet the regulations so I had to purchase and put on a "Budgie
Smuggler" (The Australians term for the tight speedo-style suits) in
what I thought was the change room but which ended up having a full
glass wall towards the pool which I had totally neglected to notice
until I was done.

Then I headed for the water, which was a little warm but still pleasant.
As I was getting in I noticed that one of my friends who had gotten in
while I was busy exposing myself to the public, was staying in the corner
of the pool. "There are bats!" She said. "Bats?" I said. "Bats." She
said. I couldn't see them in the low light and there was certainly no
sign of them at the edges, but as soon I was in the water it was
obvious. In the half a meter space between the water level and the edge
of pool, hundreds of small nearly transparent bats where flying around
at incredible speeds, zooming past our heads but never making contact. I
imagine they were feasting on mosquitoes out for a drink at the local
watering hole. It was not nearly as disturbing as I would have expected
and it was easy to trust their flight competence. I was comforted by the
thought that any of them with defective sonar would have crashed into
the side of the pool at fatal speeds long ago. There were no floating
bat corpses in the pool. Trusting in the wisdom of natural selection I
swam around for a some time, occasionally feeling the quick wind of one
passing close to my head, perhaps catching a mosquito contemplating my
blood.