I can travel through time. Just 5 minutes walk from my doorstep, there’s a time machine I can use just about any time I want. Actually, anyone can use this device. Its perfectly safe, for just € 4.30 you go back in time (it only goes backwards) for upto 80 years, and after one hour you’re back in nowadays. All you need to bring is a towel and swim truncks. My time machine is in fact a swimming pool.
Its amazing how delapidated some of the public infrastructure can get in even the most prosperous small European countries. The showers are a health and safety hazard, everywhere rust is leaking from old ladder anchors, and the toilets in an 80-year old swimming pool… well, don’t imagine them. Personally I try my best to avoid them.
Yet its a beautiful piece of Art Déco architechture and design, and despite the haggardness everything works. Just changing clothes here is an experience. You get your own private wooden booth. The ingenious way to lock the door is to lower the bench – it just blocks the door from opening. The door is about one and a half meters high, and your head sticks out while you undress, so you feel a bit like on one of them old postcards of late 19th century beaches. Seriously, just looking at the fonts on the signs takes you back to times when all men wore hats and women in pants were a novelty. OK, the fashion sense of some of the visitors goes back several decades as well, but some people are just old school.
This summer my time machine is going to be renovated. Its a national monument, so the view from the former coffee gallery, where the hairdresser’s used to be, will probably remain. But I am a tiny tickle concerned about the time travel mechanisms. These things are quite delicate. Perhaps they only work when the showers are leaking. What if they’ll break it? Like when your grandma dies and they just peel off the wallpapers and paint everything new and shiny and soulless. Its the same house, but it will never make you feel like a 5-year old again. But let’s hope it will work, with a renovation price tag in the millions they damn should conserve the time travel mechanisms as well. In the meantime I will keep going back to the days before the A-bomb and the 3rd Reich, to a time without computers and tupperware, to an age when hippies and Beatles were not words yet, every time I go for a swim.