Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ozone Fitness Center for the Audibly Impaired

I’m not exactly a fan of loud noise, which can be problematic in a country like India. It becomes particularly problematic when you enter the subculture of the typical Indian health club. For reasons unbeknownst to me, the general consensus seems to be that it would be impossible to get one’s self in shape with anything less than the music pumping and thumping at or above concert level volumes. This is very much the case at our gym, Ozone. Even with an iPod Shuffle, it’s not uncommon for me to ask an employee to turn the music down if the gym isn’t crowded (because who am I to impact the listening enjoyment of too many other people). Of course, the “quiet time” lasts for all of five or six minutes before someone else just turns the music back to its original level.

The gym is divided into two separate rooms, aptly and concisely labeled “Strength” and “Cardio”, that are joined by a corridor. The music was pumping as usual in the “Cardio” room, but there was actually a step aerobics class taking place so there was very little I could do. About halfway through my workout, a gentleman in the front corner of the class decided he needed to make a loud sneezing sound each time he stepped up. It was kind of like each time Serena Williams grunts when hitting a tennis ball, only three times more annoying and seven times more frequent. Suffice to say, my patience was running low by the time I hit the “Strength” room. Again, the music was thumping, louder than I’d ever heard. To make matters worse, there was actually a DJ in the room, at the music console, sifting through CD’s (mind you, it’s only 10am at this point). I lasted about eight minutes in the room before I could take no more. I walked to the front desk and made my displeasure known. As you’d expect here, he (1) seemed genuinely surprised that the music was too loud and (2) made a move to have it fixed right away, because as everyone knows the only way to fix a problem is to overreact.  On the bright side, at least both I and the guy promising to make the change knew it was a temporary promise that was ultimately also an empty one.

After receiving the empty promise, I went to locker room to get cleaned up to go to work. One really nice thing about the locker room is that the central hot water supply is infinitely better than the geyser system we have at the apartment. The other thing I realized this week about the locker room is a service I’ve yet to be offered. If you set your bag out of the locker, the locker room attendant will literally get your things out of your gym bag for you and set on the bench, thus minimizing the time required to get ready in the morning. It’s also a prime example of how little tolerance there is to actually perform manual tasks. In fact, I think the other members look at me strange for taking items out of my own bag; it’s either that or because I’m typically the only Westerner there.

All things considered, the gym is actually very nice, modern, and clean. The equipment is in good shape and outside of the music, I really have no complaints. The only other quirk is that the place closes on Monday, almost like it’s a country club. Obviously, I’m not going to use the place seven days a week, but I’ve never heard of a health club that closes for an entire day. Not surprisingly, each week when they open, it’s crowded on Tuesday and generally sees fewer and fewer people throughout the week; basically, the same effect we have in the U.S. around the first of the year, it’s just a little faster cycle in India.

1 comment:

  1. haha, with a name like that, you would have to pay a cover charge, no stags allowed, 1 mocktail minimum!

    Mohammed 'Yeah, I like drinks with umbrella's in them' Hasan