Lost in Translation

Online blog of life in Barcelona for a English guy making a life for himself out here and trying desperately to have a good time, become fluent in Spanish, and most of all - not be constantly mistaken for a tourist!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the shower….!!


Back in January, I made a new year resolution to try to get a bit fitter, so I’ve been going to the gym just across the road from my flat at least 3 times a week since then, and everything’s going well except one odd thing…

In a nutshell, we’ve got a freaky weirdo in the gym! I’ve never had any concrete evidence against him, so I’ve not wanted to do anything about it in case I’m putting 2 and 2 together and making 463, but this guy is always in the gym at the weekends. No matter what time of day I go, he’s there. Now, you might think he’s just a fitness freak, in which case, good on him for his dedication, but sadly the evidence suggests otherwise. The thing is, he’s only ever in the changing rooms. Not once have I seen him anywhere on the gym floor at any point (and it’s only a small gym so you can see everyone exercising from any point on the gym floor) nor in the swimming pool.

Every time I go down to have a shower, he’s there, walking about naked. Now, again you might just think “naked guy in men’s changing rooms – shock horror!”, and you’d be right of course. But, this guy is naked in there for hours on end. We’re talking entire mornings or afternoons spent down there. He seems to just make his way from the showers to the lockers and back again, all the while doing, well, not a lot it has to be said.

Now, I shouldn’t be cruel to anyone’s physical appearance, but I can’t tell the story fully if I don’t say that this guy is extremely unattractive. He’s probably about 35 years old max, and he’s very overweight with matted patches of hair all over his lumpy body, along with a miss-shaped arse that I don’t even want to think about right now, so I’ll crash on with the story…

The showers in my gym are individual cubicles, so they aren’t completely open. The dividing walls are solid and completely non-transparent, but of course there’s the usual 8 inch gap at the bottom like a toilet cubicle. Whenever I’m in the shower on a weekend, you can bet your bottom dollar that seconds after I enter, someone will enter the one next to me. No big deal there, but it’s odd that I’ve never noticed the water start running, and when I stop my shower running and am almost ready to come out, the person next door instantly leaves the cubicle before I have chance to pick up my toiletries etc and leave the cubicle myself. Then as I’m getting dressed by the lockers, the fat guy will be there, striding about naked again. Process of elimination over a few weeks leads me to believe that it’s this guy who’s in the cubicle next to me, but as I say, I’ve had no real evidence, and at the end of the day, he’s not actually doing me any harm.

Until…

This Saturday I went to the gym as usual. I did my exercises and went for a shower. I hadn’t seen our chubby friend at all so far, so it hadn’t actually crossed my mind that he might be about on this particular day. But sure enough, as I went into my shower, a few seconds later I heard someone enter the next door cubicle and no water started running. I could see the edge of a foot from the 8 inch gap at the bottom of the dividing wall, and it wasn’t moving at all, which you would expect it to if someone was showering.

Now, in the dividing walls there is a small hole cut out at the point where it joins the main tiled wall (the wall on which the showers themselves are fixed). These holes are for the pipes to run horizontally across from each cubicle to feed the water through, and they are at about stomach height. The holes are about 3 inches square, and as I say, they are against where the dividers meet the main wall, so you would literally have to squeeze your eyeball into the corner of the cubicle to be able to see through to next door….. yep, you know what’s coming don’t you!

The next thing I realised was that I could see the edge of a nose pressed up against the hole!! I nearly died!! What kind of freak goes to these levels to perv on people? This isn’t a cheeky glance at an opportune moment, this is full-on, 100%, bonafide, freaky perving! I wasn’t going to let this go on, so I did the only thing I could do…. I poked him hard in the face with my finger! I wish now that I’d rammed the end of my shampoo bottle through the hole as it would’ve really hurt him, but I think the finger did the trick.

I instantly came out of my shower and banged on his door, but he refused to come out… total silence! I kept banging, and asking “Qué coño crees que estás haciendo??” (What the f..k do you think you’re doing?) but still no response. I’d more or less finished my shower by the point the nose had appeared, but I just had to rinse my conditioner out, so I quickly stuck my head back under my shower, so I’d be done and ready to confront him fully. As soon as he sensed that I’d gone back in my cubicle… he was off like a whippet! (Albeit a very overweight and ugly whippet!). He ran as fast as he could (ie, not very fast) around the corner, and we clearly made eye contact as I was shouting at him, but he kept on going and went around the corner towards the swimming pool. I regret now that I didn’t just follow him. He was still starkers at this point, whereas I had the advantage of a towel around me, so I could’ve backed him out all the way to the public pool where he couldn’t really have gone any further, but I just started laughing at this point, and another guy who was just drying himself, asked me what was going on, so I suddenly found myself distracted busily explaining to him what had just happened.

Our freaky fat friend couldn’t come back into the main changing rooms and escape that way, because he would’ve had to have passed me, so I just carried on getting dressed and then made my way out. At reception, I explained to the girl on duty what had happened (which pushed my Spanish skills to the limit!) and she was stoney-faced in horror through most of it, although I couldn’t help laughing so she eventually cracked up a bit herself. She took it seriously though, and after my clear description of the “offender” she said “well, there aren’t many fat guys here so leave it with me and I’ll watch for him leaving and have a word”.

I went home at that point. As it was a hot day, I had my balcony doors open back at the flat, and I just happened to glance out about 30 minutes later and saw the fatman waddling sheepishly down the street out of the gym.

I was due to go back this morning, but I overslept so I’ll go tomorrow and if the girl is on duty, I’ll ask her what came of it. I’ve tried to think if I’ve over-reacted at all, but I really don’t think I have (your opinions are welcome in the comments section below! jeje). But to literally have your eye pressed up against the showers to watch someone, is extremely wrong, and the fact that with all the previous weeks evidence, this is clearly something that this guy does on a very regular basis. How many others is he spying on? Have they noticed? I just think it’s all a bit yukky, and I want him to be banned from the gym, and hopefully humiliated a bit in the process.

If only I’d followed him through to the pool, it could’ve been hilarious! It was already like a cross between a Carry On film and Porkies, but that would’ve really sealed his fate! Ah well, you live and learn…

15 Comments:

At June 12, 2007 2:04 AM, Anonymous Stuart said...

Uhm... Wow.

 
At June 12, 2007 7:01 AM, Anonymous Stuart said...

Thanks to you I had to shower at home today.

 
At June 12, 2007 9:41 AM, Blogger Lost in translation said...

Well, I would hope that if this particular guy does get banned from my gym, then he wouldn't go to the extreme of heading to Peru in order to get his fix! What a weirdo! jeje

PS. I went to the gym this morning for the first time since Saturday, but the girl I had spoke to wasn't around, and I didn't want to have to explain it all again to someone new! :-0 I'll pop an update on here as soon as I've seen her and found out what happened.

 
At June 16, 2007 2:59 PM, Blogger Lost in translation said...

Well, today's the following Saturday and I've just been to the gym and spoken to the same girl on reception. She looked like she was eager to see me as she pounced with a big smile, clutching a piece of paper. She told me she'd seen the guy leaving the week before as per my description, but she couldn't say anything to him until she was sure it was him. Anyway, the bit of paper had his details on, which she then pulled up on the computer. The gym has a fingerprint entry barrier, but what I didn't know is that, as you put your finger on the panel, it also takes your photo. She opened his file and showed me his pic. It was him, there was no mistaking it, so both pleased with ourselves, she said she could now get the Director of the gym to make a decision what to do and she would let me know next time she sees me. I told her, in my opinion, I'd like to see him banned from the gym, so hopefully that will be the outcome. Will post again when I find out the end of the story. :-)

 
At June 18, 2007 7:29 PM, Blogger Tom said...

I hate the public showers thing. It's not that I feel uncomfortable naked with strangers per se... more that there always seem to be a few fellows around who take great pride in walking around in the buff. Too often.

I live 10 minutes' walk away from the gym and am therefore happy to get my shower at home. Actually at this time of year, I find I'm sweating again 5 minutes after the shower, so it doesn't really make that much difference! Nice blog, by the way.

 
At June 19, 2007 7:30 AM, Blogger Beatriz Garcia said...

Oh my God that is the craziest story I have heard. Great blog by the way...you are very witty...makes me laugh.

GitanaBea (NFS forum)

 
At June 19, 2007 10:14 PM, Blogger Lost in translation said...

Thanks for the comments guys, and thanks even more for reading!

I've had a quick peep at yours (no pun intended given the content of my blog entry!) and I'm going to have a proper read later tonight

Un beso
x

 
At June 23, 2007 5:06 PM, Blogger David said...

lol. what a funny post. I can just imagine the poking his face with your fingers. classic.

Do let us know if he gets banned, or whether he'll be stalking you some more... :)

 
At July 09, 2007 12:26 AM, Blogger John Scott Harris said...

Although its very sad that there is a guy who gets his kicks from invading someones privacy this way, im also saddened to see the comments of those who are still so prudish - "people who walk around naked too much", you are born naked, are supposed to live that way and its only our silly human ideas that impose clothes on people when its 30 degrees heat outside - relax people, we are all the same under our clothes!

 
At February 27, 2008 2:57 PM, Blogger LittlEArtisT said...

Well that's the reason I never shower in the gym... well is more about the germs and whatever creatures dwell in there. It took me over 10 years to get back in a public pool...
Ok, at first I thought: 'don't you realize that if you see him every time, maybe he thinks the same about you?' but then I kept reading, and kept reading and I just started laughing and laughing and couldn't stop, until I eventually did. I mean that's awful and creapy what happened but you describe it so perfectly well, that it becomes absolutely funny and surreal: BREAKING NEWS : 'overlooked for an Oscar and haunted in the shower by his stalker, THE NAKED HOBBIT!'
What's really neat about the whole story, is the part when you go back to the shower to rinse your conditioner... and the poking...
He deserves a bit of humilliation and a bit more of poking.
You should've followed him to the pool, god I can't think about it coz I would pee on my pants, at work, and it wouldn't look professional... FUNNY STORY lighten up my day
Have a good day and watch out for the stalking hobbits

 
At June 19, 2008 11:02 AM, Blogger Erik R. said...

I go to a gym across the street from my flat too. And I always use that convenience to shower at home. No need to take all the risks that public showers entail.

Great post. Nice storytelling.

 
At June 25, 2008 10:57 PM, Blogger Lost in translation said...

Thanks Erik! Your comment has encouraged me to update my blog with a new post! :-)

 
At June 25, 2008 11:07 PM, Blogger Erik R. said...

HAHAHA!! I didn't notice the year on the post date. I thought you were blogging about your adventures last week! Funny!

 
At September 05, 2008 3:34 AM, Anonymous Anne said...

What a funny story! Even though it happened over a year ago in real life, to new readers it's perpetually happening "last Saturday" :) And because you told the story so well - could you please us with an update? Did you ever cross paths with that guy again - or dare to venture back into the showers?

Thanks for the laugh :)

 
At September 05, 2008 9:42 AM, Blogger Lost in translation said...

Hi Anne! Thanks for the comment. Yep, I still go to that gym but I don´t see our little friend anymore. Not for some time in fact! What happened was the girl on reception eventually told me that the director of the gym wasn´t going to take any action, so I got a bit miffed. A couple of weeks later, I was back in the gym and I bumped into the guy as he was walking out of the showers and I was walking in. He was up to his old tricks again, but when he saw me, he went all a quiver! jajaja. Anyway, he tried to dive into the toilet cubicle, but I held the door open so he couldn´t shut it behind him and I confronted him with a fake smile and tons of sarcasm. "Ahhh, hello, are you here to work out then, or just spy on guys in the shower?" He was a bit shakey and blubbered something about "I´m really sorry, I didn´t mean to do it". The conversation went on a smidge longer and I told him that he was a freak and that everyone in the gym knew his game as I´d told reception etc from day one. He obviously didn´t think I´d ever done anything about it, so at this point he really looked like he was going to pass out. I just let go of the door and mumbled something like "freak" as I walked off in a huff.

I´ve not seen hide nor hair of him since, and that was about a year back so I assume he´s quit the gym! :-)

I know people have sneaky looks in gyms. Stuff like that makes the world go round and doesn´t bother me at all, but what got me about this guy was the secretive "nose against the hole" approach. What was it going to be next? A little camera to record people?

Some people, eh? jejeje :-)

 

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