I don’t like arguments. My family will tell you that if there is an argument I usually lock myself away into a room with a book. My friend Nicky once told me that I’m like a bloke as I never stay to have an argument. I remember once telling her to take a pill and sped off down the road in my sports car. I am not too sure if this has limit my ability to deal with conflicts but I want to believe that my counselling training has helped in that arena. I also don’t like fights and I’ve only fought once in my life, that is, if you can call that a fight. I think I was around 10 years old (grade 5 at school) when this boy would not stop annoying me, telling me he liked me. I can clearly remember his name..Joshua. I had warned him time and time again that I wasn’t interested. I was too busy studying to be top of the class. This child would not listen and one rainy day, on our way from school I flipped and held him by the neck into ditch, to the surprise of my school mates, reiterating that I wasn’t interested. He never bothered me again.
Two months ago I decided to sacrifice and join the Virgin Gym so as to find time to relax and look after my health. I am a member of the Long Street gym which is located in Cape Town Business District. It is closed at the weekend and so members can use the Wembley Square branch located in Gardens, an affluent neighbourhood populated mostly by young professionals and contains numerous chic restaurants, hotels, boutique shops and loft apartments.
On one of my visits I saw a woman washing herself and hair in the steam room. I was so surprised I made a complaint asking them to inform their members of the correct use of the steam room. Today as I entered the steam room I was faced with a blob of hair on the floor along with an orange skin. Not only are these women washing their bodies and hair in the steam room, they are also having their breakfast. Disgusting! I was planning to make another complaint at reception. As I emerged from the steam room I saw a lady (colored in South Africa’s ethnic differentiation) putting conditioner in her hair , armed with a comb and a face pack, getting ready to go for a steam. I decided to watched her. After taking a shower and getting ready to leave I saw this woman through the glass door standing stark naked washing her body and hair! I called one of the cleaners to show her what was happening and advising her that she need to clean the steam room as there was already hair and orange peel on the floor.
Now this is Virgin gym not Slough Leisure centre and I can assure you that I’ve never come across this even in Slough:-)
The cleaner went to fetch one of the staff members at reception. By that time the lady had left the steam room and we couldn’t locate her. Finally we found her sitting at the side. She acknowledged that she was the one in the steam room and denied everything even trying to accuse me of not using a towel in the steam room. I explained to the receptionist that I am well aware of the rules and standards of Virgin gyms and showed her my towels.
This lady decided to argue with me , telling me not to speak to her. Bravely and probably stupidly I went straight up to her telling her that she will listen as obviously she doesn’t know the proper use of a steam room. I pointed out the showers to her which are made for such purposes, telling her that I do not want to catch her germs and further adding that if she did not know how to use a steam room, she should go back to her hood and that this is definitely taking their constitution too far. Everyone else in the changing room was quiet. They were few loud exchanges of words and I must confessed that I was so angry I was ready and determined to take this woman on today. I was ready to take a chance at being bitchy. All thoughts of exhibiting a Christian attitude went out the window. I was tired of putting up with such tardiness and today I was determined to take matters into my own hand and become an agent of change.
I advised the staff member who tried to calm us down that if they did not do something about this I was going to cancel my membership and write to management.
The steam room has always been a place where I can relax and think but I am honestly fed up with stark naked women washing themselves and their hair when I am trying to chill.
South Africa can be so tense at times and even though there are a lot of things I love about it, I sometimes wonder if I am just trying to be brave in putting up with being here but deep down I am really struggling, only existing and not living and enjoying fully the experience. I am thankful for all those who believe in me enough to pledge for my mission here and wouldn’t really want to let myself and others down but at times this it is tough.
I really need to relax as recently I have been suffering from high blood pressure which I’ve never had before but Virgin Gym -Gardens is not a place for me to relax at the weekend.
Let me end with some positive words and biblical insight – Jeremiah 29: 11 – 13 and 2 Chronicles 20:15b
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
Watch this space!