Saturday, 9 July 2011

Swimming Pools and Beer

Something I didn't mention about the poolside café in Bayreuth is that you don't just get your snacks served up on paper plates and the drinks are as far from Max-Pax as you could imagine: there's proper crockery, glasses for the juices and cups with saucers for the hot drinks, all this three yards from the water's edge. The crowning glory here has to be the fact that you can order any one of five different beers, two of them on tap, and have them served in the appropriate glass, not just a plastic skip like you'd find in Elf 'n' Safety England, not that you'd be able to have a beer inside a public swimming pool there, anyway. In short, you can sit in a delightful little café area and eat and drink as if you were in a normal café. Many people wouild say that it's dangerous, having glass so close to a pool, but the fact remains that disciplined, civic-minded people are able to get away with this precisely because they respect the parameters and don't let it become dangerous. I posted a while back about how the smoking ban was applied differently in Europe. Indisciplined, corrupt countries like France and Italy had to put up with a total ban on day one; places like Germany and Austria had some leeway as it was known they wouldn't abuse the loopholes. Bavaria closed the loophole last summer via referendum, a decision taken by the populace and not the politicians.

So, if you want to enjoy a bit of freedom you have to show you're capable of respecting it. There's no secret, really...

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