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Saturday, March 10, 2007

continuing along the shower theme...

"Reykjavík Swimming Pools: The Naked Truth

source: http://blog.icelandexpress.com/iceland/2006/11/24/

Making the most of the city’s abundant piping hot water, Reykjavik’s swimming pools are well worth a visit. Even if it means conquering your fear of nudity first.

The Red ZoneLow levels of chlorine at all 16 of Reykjavik’s pools means there’s no nasty bleach-like smell while you bathe, but high levels of hygiene mean you have to wash yourself naked before getting in.

Yes, naked.

It’s not up for debate. And if you’re not sure where exactly you’re supposed to be scrubbing, you can always refer to the classic Icelandic Naked Androgynous Diagram, as pictured here.

This comes as a surprise to most gymnophobic tourists, who wouldn’t dare bare their bottoms in front of others, never mind soap their genitalia in a shower-room full of strangers. Icelanders, on the other hand, have no such hang-ups about the human body, and happily stroll around starkers in the changing-rooms while the visitors dart about with strategically-held bottles of shampoo.

The thing to remember is this: the only person who cares what you look like naked is you.

If anybody’s going to stare at anything then it’s somebody trying to wash their bits with their swimsuit on. And—contrary to most tourist publications—not everybody in Iceland is a leggy, 6 foot 4 blonde."

I just felt you all needed to know:)


Posted by Minka :: 11:16 pm :: 41 Royal Subjects

Link to this Royal Decree!


At 01:47, Blogger Trundling Grunt said...

Why do you have to paint your armpits red????

At 04:52, Anonymous neva said...

note to self: no swimming in public pools on visit to Reykjavik.

got it.

seriously, this was fascinating, lovely Penguin. and not the least bit disturbing. unless, that is, one might feel "embarrassed" to be, er, bare-assed in public -- which, now that i think about it for a nano-second, would be me! : ) xox

At 13:18, Anonymous Joel said...


At 13:55, Blogger Doug said...

Can't you just laminate yourself?

At 14:42, Anonymous Quilly said...

Minka -- this cracked me up big time. Our gyms here in the states have individual shower for protecting the modesty of others. My fear of public nudity isn't so much embarasment, as being sued for traumatizing someone for life.

At 16:25, Blogger Minka said...

trundling grunt, so if you can´t swim properly, we´ll still locate you quickly amongst all those bubbles!

neva, I do it everyday and it is true nobody is looking. I will continue on teh shower theme tomorrow as well. It is a good topic to elaborate in teh greatest of details :)

Joel, why, what did you just see?

Doug, no...because people might take you for a fancy lifeboat and get up close and personal;)

Quilly, I wrote this becuase I have observed many a foreigner in the shower in many a swimmign pool here. No, i wasn´t staring there! Just teh embarassment and when they see the sign and then they get the glasses out to re-read the sign for any indication of a joke and then tehy look at each other...it is all a lovely routine :)

At 16:46, Blogger ariel said...

LOL! funny post!

you just hit the nail on the head, what I don't like in public nudity is that finally I will be the only person who cares what I look like naked. that is just bad. :-)

At 17:12, Blogger IDiveAtNight said...

6 years in Europe and public nudity is about the only local custom that I haven't gotten into. Still hit the gym and walk the 100m home to shower.

I understand the washing part. Do you have to swim naked too?

At 19:47, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

I've been to some spas here in the U.S. where the women prance around naked without a second thought. My best friend and my mom had to get used to that when we went. After awhile, it wasn't as scary or weird as it seemed at first. Still, it feels a bit odd walking from pool to pool to steam room to lockers stark naked.
These were all women only areas, so if men were around, I doubt I could get used to it. :)

LOVE the graphic that shows just where to wash.

At 20:29, Blogger Minka said...

ariel, I have never looked at it like this ... Well, I always draw a Smiley on teh mirror after the shower, so somebody approves;)

Morgan, no...it is not public nudity. IT is women and men seperate / they have so different shower routines, see below! and we only shower together, when we leave the locker and get outside, we are wearing our bathing suits...although looking at some girls...I am being very generous ;)

jamie, just the shower is naked, the pools and steam rooms and everything come with bathing clothes requirements. Some things one just doesntæ want to see :)

At 20:53, Blogger Mind Bender said...

Taking showers in prison you have no choice; all dudes or all chicks...naked, scheming for position. :}

No, I'm not in prison, but I've put many criminals there.

As for me, I always go naked on beaches, in public showers, on yachts, no matter where I am in the world.

Hi Minka, I'm back.

At 02:06, Blogger Dan said...

Iceland! I traveled there at least five times while doing work at the Keflavik Naval base some time back. I love Iceland. The airport at Keflavik was so clean! :)

Reykjavík was also a blast. Got to spend quite a bit of time driving around.

Never had a chance to do any naked swimming, though.

I saw you on Diesel's site.

At 03:35, Anonymous cindra said...

That was excellent! I especially love the diagram. People sit and pick their noses at stop lights but they won't wash in front of one another? Silly humans.

At 10:27, Blogger Minka said...

Ben, Hi...good to have you back. I hope that wherever you have been, that you are ok, limit gun shot wounds on your body and some peace and quiet ahead :)

Dan, Iceland in general is clean I think...we have too few people still to make it really dirty. If you have gone to an Icelandic cinema while here, well I guess you´d know what I ma talking about. I have met many an American military man from the navel base in Keflavik. I worked at a pub downtown for a year...:) Sorry you missed teh chance to take a dip into our very nice swimming pools though and oh yes...WELCOME!

cindra, people do a lot of disgusting things to eahc other, to themselves...prancing around nekkid should be the lleast of our worries. Although I have to admit I am glad there is male/female seperation:)

At 13:51, Blogger Al said...

Funny stuff, M.

And to think, those have always been the bits I avoid washing. Maybe 'splains why everybody avoids me?

At 15:11, Blogger SquareGirl said...

I grew up with three sisters and one shower to share, so there was no room for modesty in our household, so I'm pretty used people not caring a bit that you're naked or what you look like. I think I could handle the shower thing like a native Icelander! Plus, I've heard Icelandic pools are pretty nice.

The chart is quite funny though.

At 15:56, Blogger G said...

I am laughing and laughing.

Scars and all huh? Well allright, I don't want to call undue attention so I'll just get right in there. I'll even casually stroll with my shampoo bottle in hand swinging in the breeze.

I'll have to catch up on all the customs via video from home. Truth is, like Squaregirl, it seems I have rarely showered alone anyway. And now Tali's always sneaking in behind me. Anyway, loved how you presented this.

At 16:26, Blogger ~Mo'a~ said...

*Sigh* I miss my country.
I guess all the tall blonds have left and are living in other parts.....like NJ.....oh!!!dear she is only 5'8"...forget it then ;)

At 19:15, Blogger Minka said...

Al, hi there and welcome to my realm *shows him to a seat wayyyy over there and sprays a bit of mimosa cologne onto the blog page*

Square, we didn´t even have a shower, but we did have a bathtub and pictures can be found of the three of us inside, plus maybe a neighbours kid too :)

G, this is not my writing, I should have made teh source clearer now that I come to think of it, I started writing it when I went looking for that picture online and found this article...I thought it was hilarious!

Móa...who´s 5´8" adn how tall is that. I think if I remember correctly I am 5'6". One of these days I´ll have to start to listen when people explain soemthing to me :)

At 19:51, Blogger Helen said...

Woah, those public swimming pools are not for me!

At 21:27, Anonymous the amoeba said...

Time was when at least the guys weren't concerned about nudity in the showers. I vividly remember the junior high gym teacher (probably a military veteran, like just about anyone was who was anybody back then) shoving us all into the shower buck naked yelling "Go on! Your mother's not here! Break the ice! Get in, get washed, get out!!"

Don't imagine there's as much of that now. Too many people messing with the meaning of the word "gay" ...

Had a few "earth children" in marine biology field classes who were less than ashamed, though.

At 01:02, Blogger Minka said...

Helen, welcome and maybe a private hot pot is ultimately the better thing to do :)

OC, that sounds harsh...there is a bit of free will to it here though. You basically have two choices :)

At 01:09, Blogger actonbell said...

Oh, man, how was I late to THIS post? Between basic training (army) and those communal situations in college, oh, yeah, and all those road races I ran away from home where I was sooooo happy to find a shower, I've been naked in front of so many people that I just don't care. Ekim and I have visited one topless (Spanish) beach in our lives, and the first thing that became obvious was that most people on this earth, right here and now, are not young. Maybe they were beautiful once, but--probably not. You are SO right! People only stare at people who are doing something different--like hiding their areolas, which is what I was doing!(there's not enough sunscreen in the world for someone who's never had them in the sun, I'm afraid) LOL, reminds me of the time I saw the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and ONE guy was too square and shy to get up and do the Time Warp,and of course, ALL eyes were on him.
Hot water! Sounds delightful. And I'm BUI again, aren't it? Or maybe that should be CUI, since it's not my blog.

At 02:49, Blogger Minka said...

actonbell...BUI??? you´ll explain that to me some day :) And I have once been to an FKK (Freie KörperKultur in Germany and I can´t say I liked it much. I leave the nakedness for inside :)

At 14:58, Blogger birdwoman said...

gymnophobic! Word of the day! Meaning: not wanting to make others blind/crazy by showing them horrific things?

but if I ever go to Iceland, I'll keep this in mind!


At 15:21, Blogger tkkerouac said...

very interesting blog, I'll be back.

At 15:37, Blogger The Old Mule said...

Minka. Man, I need one of those diagrams for my shower. I *always* for get where to wash. (Great bit of cultural insight)

At 15:43, Blogger Minka said...

birdwoman, it is just good to be prepared, I have always felt. Less of a shock.

tkkerouac, very interesting avatar :)

old mule, I mean now that you see it you could get a penicl and draw, maybe lmainate it later...endless possibilities and might I just say: Do IT!

At 16:27, Blogger Doug said...

Hahaha, Actonbell. I'm surprised you don't recognize from the Rialto theater. No freaking way I was doing the timewarp.

Minka, I think BUI and CUI are Blogging and Commenting Under the Influence (of a happy hoppy blended brew.)

At 17:19, Blogger Diesel said...

Does everybody in Iceland have that horrible purple rash on their stinky bits?

At 18:12, Blogger cube said...

Mental note: never go swimming in Iceland!

At 20:35, Blogger Minka said...

Blogger just swallowed my comment! Canæt you feed him for a while...it is doing my head in!

Doug, oh I see. Very clever! But what influence are we talking about? With Actonbell I can only envision Papaya tea with extra primrose extract :)

Diesel, I wouldn´t know...we are not allowed to look that obvious. I don´t have any and that is the extend of knowledge I should have on this subject :)

Cube, the nudity is well worth the outcome. A bubbly hot pot, cold outside but you are warm, gently snowflakes fall and melt on your face. Conversation starts ( always in icelandic hotpots!) a beatiful Icelandic girl joins you...

At 01:52, Blogger G said...

Aha! See when I was here yesterday, the little naked pictures with all the red spots wasn't there. Now that was the tipoff.

At 22:02, Blogger IDiveAtNight said...

Uhm, sorry, the nudity thing got my attention for a moment.

You have to wash your hair to use the swimming pool?!?! Do they provide premium shampoo and conditioner?

At 23:08, Blogger actonbell said...

Ah, Doug's done the explanation, I see.
So know we know Doug won't do the Time Warp, even if everyone else in the theatre is doing The Time Warp. A nonconformist!

At 23:46, Blogger goldennib said...

I'm so glad I know all of this now. I would hate to embarrass myself the nest time I go Icelandic bathing.

At 23:51, Blogger goldennib said...

The shower video below is hysterical.

At 23:58, Blogger Minka said...

g, yes...it is a very beautiful thing that image, I see it almost every day :)

Morgan, yes they do. Well...I have tested it to its quality level yet, ´cause I do bring my own, but they supply if needs be :)

actonbell, why does that not surprise us?! Personally I think he´s read too much Emmerson...

goldennib, I so understand...better to be prepared. I can only suggest buying the 2 liter bottles of shampoo, they cover more :)

At 00:04, Blogger Doug said...

Her airplane is thought to have gone down near Samoa.

At 00:19, Blogger Minka said...

awwwwww...you and your ways!

At 02:24, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank u :-) take a look this emo boy hair over this blog:


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