Like a polyp floating through the ocean, I too have finally broken free from the substrate that is my desk. I have renounced the sessile lifestyle and denounced my stagnant situation!
I joined a gym.
There isn't much worth noting about European gyms. But, like the philosopher Vincent Vega once said "It's the little differences. I mean, they got the same shit over there that we got here, but it's just – it's just there it's a little different."
First of all: nudity. At home, it's a necessity. Sure, sometimes you gotta show some stuff when you're changing or if you are walking over to the showers. It happens-- let's not make a big deal out of it. Here, holy shit. Dudes are standing there, scratching their second scalp, chatting on their cell phones, making business plans, discussing recent weather conditions, applying lotion to their forearms. For fuck's sake, throw a towel on! It's called "common courtesy", and for some of them, I call it a favor.
(Side note: I only relate this for the purposes of full disclosure and for observational integrity. Dudes don't get "the snip" down there, over here. Just doesn't happen. It sort of surprised me, but no big deal.)
Second: kilometres and kilograms. I guess I should have guessed this was going to happen, and it shouldn't come as a big surprise. However, I still feel slightly ashamed when I take the weights from the left side of the rack. With some patience, sweat, determination, and substance abuse, I can eventually work my way to the middle of the rack. But that bottom rack-- oh that bottom rack. It is the dragon I cannot slay. The kingdom I cannot conquer. The maiden I cannot mount. It is the Holy Grail and I am brave Sir Robbins. For "when danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled."
Third: Commitment. There is an electronic display panel near the treadmills that displays advertisements, music videos, and things of that nature that one can mindlessly stare at while running. (Note: Some of the music videos shown are a little too sexy for me. I mean, I won't get into detail, but some of them make me kind of "hot"-- and it ain't from the running, if you know what I mean.)
Occasionally the gym sees the need to advertise itself- in the gym- to those who are already members. Right. Well, one of the messages said "The member with the highest number of visits has come every day for the past few years!"
Are you kidding? That's a record? Have you ever been to the Upper West Side, you low-expectation 12 volt bitch? Every day is nothing. How many times a day, every day, do some New Yorkers go? That's the question... you 3 pin pussy.
Fourth: Sanitation. Example- it costs money to get a towel. Yeah, I have to pay one pound each time I use a towel here. Most don't partake in my American-inspired germaphobia and prefer instead to feel their heads dip into that sweat-soggy leather backrest. I could puke. Needless to say, I bring a towel.
And that's about it. It's not too different, but I enjoy the subtlety.