Archive for July, 2008

A Naked Truth

Ahhh, news from the old homestead:

For decades, Germans holidaying on the white sandy beaches of Usedom have opted to leave their swimming trunks at home. Their penchant for naked bathing is nothing unusual in a country where naturism is popular and seen as, well, natural.

But this summer, border controls between Germany and Poland were dismantled as part of the Schengen agreement. Now flocks of Poles stroll along the leafy coastal paths to nearby German towns – and many are shocked by what they see.

Despite the inherent silliness of the article, it does contain perhaps the pithiest account of a rather fundamental and important point about humanity that is easy to overlook or forget.

Says the Pole:

‘It is unheard of. People sunning themselves in the nude! And right on the coast, where normal people go walking,’ Stanislawa Borecka, a 63-year-old from the Polish town of Szczecin, told the Märkische Allgemeine newspaper. ‘What should I tell my grandson?’

Says the German:

‘It’s an FKK beach. It’s awful that fully dressed Polish people come and stare at us,’ said 46-year-old Elke Bernholz.

People frame things differently. A simple fact that smacks of triteness, yet it is amazing the number of people who behave as if it were not true, as if there were always some objective reality in which subjective perceptions played no role.

Then again, the wide recognition of this truth would collapse the comedic goldmine of gender-based misunderstanding, so perhaps we should not be so vigorous in our quest for clear thinking.

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A Part of Me Is Still There

The first comment my father made to me after a year apart was something to the effect of how thin I was. I shrugged it off, knowing that I probably had lost weight given the jogging and dining habits and I picked up in Germany, but I doubted my appearance could have changed so dramatically. I hadn’t noticed much besides loose trousers, after all, and since I never owned a scale, self-observation was all I had upon which to rely.

But today, as I was cleaning out my closet in preparation for yet another move, I discovered a copy of the results of a physical I took just before departing for Germany. Then, my height was 6’0″ and my weight a normal 175 pounds. Today, my height remains unchanged but the scale in my mother’s bathroom gives me a consistent measure of 152.5 pounds.

Though losing over twenty pounds off an already slender frame would be remarkable (if a little unsettling), I’m inclined to reject the data on the sterling basis that I simply can’t believe it’s true. Perhaps I should not be so hasty, however, seeing as I have discovered such an effective weight loss remedy. It’s so easy: instead of eating no carbs or only liquids, all you do is eat less and exercise regularly and the pounds just melt away.

How the medical profession missed out on this method, which I call the D/E System (Diet and Exercise), boggles the imagination.

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