Last night we had dinner at the Japanese place downstairs. Tepanyaki is a wonderful thing, but it seems to not agree with me. Or I should say, beef... it's not what's for dinner. I feel pretty yucky.
After a restless night of running to the bathroom and waking up with a black tongue coating, we had a leisurely breakfast before driving out to OSC. We're spending our time with another Chennaite staying at the Hilton, and since neither of our girls swam today we didn't feel too much pressure to rush or even spend the whole day by the pool. Tomorrow both our girls have their heats in the morning.
We stayed by the pool for a few hours, at least through the swimmers' lunch period, and saw some of the warm-ups for the afternoon races. One thing we all noticed watching this meet was how technically advanced the other schools were compared to ours. Their strokes were more deliberate and practiced, the flipturns were tighter, they all wore caps and goggles. They drilled during warm-up, flipturn after flipturn after flipturn. Dive after dive after dive. Honestly, it was quite impressive. They even had cheers. Or maybe that was just Delhi and Bombay, they had enough to keep them going all day every day.
OSC is 50 years old and is showing its age. The school is a little cramped, even though it has roughly 400 students. AISC is very into linear and flat, OSC had odd-angled pathways, tiered and sloped roofs, a koi pond tucked in here, a playground tucked in there, and stairs everywhere. It also had a lovely library and is in the process of building a new gymnasium. I can say this though, our pool totally beats their pool. Though they had built-in covered bleachers, we have more room for our lanes, deeper water, and more space on the pool deck. Yup, AISC's pool rocks. Now if there was someplace for spectators to sit.
The school sold snacks, t-shirts, hats and assorted swim gear. I'm intrigued by the shammy/sammy used by divers, swimmers and all forms of athelete. It works like (or maybe is, just marketed differently) a chamois for the car, soaking up puddles of water with ease. If my girls continue with swimming, it's something to remember. We didn't buy any pool gear, but we did show our support for OSC by purchasing caps (more out of desperation) and shirts (go Geckos!).
We'd had enough pool time, and went to the local mall/department store, ODELs. It's a lovely place, not nearly as big as Citi Centre but also not as crowded, and it has a LUSH and a DeliFrance... and a sushi stop... and a wine store... and some really good deals on Sri Lankan manufactured name brand clothing. Think IZod capris for $6. I saw some really great swim trunks for the boy, but didn't get them. Nicholas bought... a stuffed dog. Did the dog have a "Sri Lanka" patch? No. Did the dog look like a Sri Lankan street dog? No. It was just yet another little stuffed dog to join his pack. I can definitely see how ODEL would get boring after 2-3 years of having it as the main shopping zone, but for us it was quite a treat. Oh, and a gelato shop just outside. I don't know if the gelato is actually better than ours at Citi Centre, but the shop was definitely cleaner and a more pleasant experience.
Any swim parent knows that after sitting poolside, you're wiped out without having swum a lap. We returned to the hotel and I let the kids cool off with a swim before our friends from Manila met us for dinner at the poolside Italian restaurant. Chris was in Ian's A100 class and went to Manila "with" us and Anne was an FSN in Manila. They got married last week! Oh yeah, we wondered too why they couldn't have held out one more week for us. The pizzas were pretty good, and they had a design-your-own-pasta option that the kids opted for. Kristin, our Chennaite travel buddy, also had dinner with us, so we had a nice big table.
Dinner didn't last past 9, and we all crashed hard after that. Afterall, there's the debate to wake up for tomorrow.
Oh, and my tongue is no longer black. Apparently it's a side effect of pepto.