Thursday, December 21, 2006

Monkeys are a secondary

but very consistent theme round here, and the most exciting thing that has happened to me all day was that I went back for about the fifteenth time to check this link and there is actually a rather blurry monkey visible in the picture! Just go and see, Caleb and Peter tipped me off to it: it is the webcam at a Japanese hot spring where snow monkeys bathe (there's a good chapter about those monkeys, by the way, in Frans De Waal's enjoyable book The Ape and the Sushi Master) and if I could be magically transported there right now I would totally do it. (Last week in a fit of the maniacal internet-scanning fitness-maintaining-while-injury-circumventing planning that seems to be one of the more striking & unpleasant features of the non-running life--I am basically not allowed to run even a little bit until January 15--I bought two bathing suits online so that in January I can do lap swimming at Columbia and also deep-water running via the New York Road Runners class, but I have to overcome my horror at how little I know how to swim and how horrifyingly daunting the whole culture/etiquette of swimming-pool use is to the non-swimmer, really it's the etiquette that's the barrier to entry rather than the skill set--however if I could hang out with monkeys while swimming in a mountainous hot spring it would all seem much more appealing--fortunately both of the bathing suits fit, though as a hater of shopping it seemed worth writing one off just in order not to have to go to an actual store...).


  1. Hey! I'm reading De Waal's book RIGHT NOW! Stole it from my dad, and read the first bit waiting at the dentist's. Excellent thing to be reading over the holidays. I'm going to pass the link to the hottubcam around, too, thanks!

    marrije @

  2. Not to spoil your fun but something tells me the monkey's wouldn't be very pleased by your presence in the hotsprings with them and would probably try to attack you...

    which might be rather amusing if caught on tape...

    for posterity's sake.

    but u wouldn't be laughing.

  3. Is the monkey on the lower left? What's he doing? He's at a weird angle.

    Jenny you don't have to worry about some kind of Byzantinely-convoluted and intellectually impenetrable swimming culture. You just get in the pool and go.

    If you're really worried, you might think of taking a couple of lessons, and many adults do, both to get some instruction on the right form and training techniques, and to learn a little of the vocabulary (of which, again, there isn't that much). It's a blessedly simple sport--in some ways even moreso than running.

    Is moreso one word? Well, it should be.

  4. Oh, yes, really I know that once I've done it a couple times I will like it. Maybe even like it a lot. To the best of my knowledge I do already know how to swim--I'm going to take a lap swim class that starts Jan. 8 and has an instructor who can give you advice on stroke or whatever, and also if I can swing it one or two lessons just before that starts so that I don't have to be dreading it so much and can figure out how to be a slightly more competent and efficient swimmer. (It is not really so much the what-happens-once-you're-in-the-water part that's the problem, I know that will be really fine, as the wretched self-consciousness-inducing do-I-really-have-to-appear-in-public-with-virtually-no-clothes-on kind of thing.) The gym won't be open, though, till January 3, so in the meantime I have far too much time to stew about it all...