100 Hours of Humo(u)r – Hour 14: Appropriate Attire

For hour 14 in the 100 Hours of Humo(u)r, we’ve got a guest post from Art Segal about a trip he took to Malaysia a while back. Thanks for the story, Art!

Next hour — a podcast with Warren and Betsy Talbot in Mexico. The theme was stepping out of your comfort zone. They share a tale about cycling out of their comfort zone, and also tell us who has won our first of four writing contests. 

By Art Segal
Malacca, Malaysia

100hours-logo6During my visit to Malacca, Malaysia in February, 2001, on a stifling hot day I went to the public swimming pool with a young Swiss woman I met at the hostel. Having pulled on my swim trunks (almost to my knees) I walked onto the patio and a guard immediately said, “Sir! That is not proper attire! You must wear proper bathing suit, sir!”
I protested, “This is not proper attire?”
“No, sir. Please exit the area immediately.”
I said, “But please tell me, what is a proper bathing suit? I wear this one back home in the US.”
“Sir, please go to the shopping mall and purchase a men’s bathing suit and return, or if you like you can rent one for 2 rupees from the man at that table on the other side of the pool.”
I went over to see what they considered a proper bathing suit. It was what I’d call a “Speedo” — far more revealing than my oversized trunks. So I paid my 2 rupees and squeezed into the old shorts with two holes, and felt very self-conscious at the pool.
Meanwhile my Swiss friend came out in her bikini — that’s right! — and the guards had an entirely different response:
“That is a perfect bathing suit. Excellent attire.”
Published on Saturday, March 2, 2013

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