It was one sunny afternoon when I headed to the Pertamina pool in Simprug. This pool is only 15 minute drive from my house, it is quite convenient. And entrance tickets only cost Rp. 20.000,- (that’s $2 for you folks), what a steal! So I thought, why not? I’d give it a try.
Maybe it will cure my drain phobia.
Getting there is quite straightforward. Take the Arteri road towards Permata Hijau, and the Pertamina Sports Complex should be after the Kebayoran Lama flyover on your left. After driving through the entrance gate, and past a few buildings, I turn right to see this. Ha.
Pool was deserted at 2pm. No one was there, and no one was in the ticket box either, so I walked in and take a look around…
It’s quite a huge complex with 2 pools, 1 olympic size and 1 diving pool with towers. The whole complex looks like it was built in the late 80s and never been renovated since. It’s a strange, almost creepy, serene feeling, almost like seeing the scenery in Prypiat, that deserted post-Chernobyl town. (Not that I’ve been there myself!)
Not going near the diving pools for now… I bet there’s a huge drain in there…. *shudder*
View from the diving pool. This set-up looks similar to Senayan pool complex, but a little bit smaller. Note the bleachers and podium on the left.
After a few minutes, a middle aged man, smoking, wearing a sarung, walked towards me and I asked for one admission ticket. With ticket in hand, I located the changing rooms , get changed, and headed to the lockers. The lockers are rows of wooden cubicles about 50x50cm wide each. I was gonna put my stuff inside but wait… All the locker doors are open, and there’s no latch or locking mechanism. There’s no way I could leave my valuables there!
So I headed back to the entrance, wearing my swimsuit already, and asked the sarung guy “dude, I can’t lock the lockers, where am I supposed to leave my stuff?” He say, most people just leave their stuff around. It’s gonna be safe. (Yeah, right!!) I just smiled and nodded politely, and took a humiliating trip out to the carpark (it’s quite a distance) in my swimsuit, to put my stuff in the car! At least my purse, camera, and phone will be safe in there.
2.30 pm. After much drama, and a fair bit of sweating (and swearing) in the sun, finally I’m sitting by the water. The water is semi opaque… I can’t say murky but it’s definitely not clear. They’re refilling or recirculating the water, and it created ripples across the pool surface . I can’t see no drain. I mean like, dude, this is supposed to be a competition pool, but you can’t even see the black lines on the bottom of the pool! FAIL!
I was gonna start at the shallow end, but then a group of guys (mas2) came into the pool and took over the shallow side… so there’s no choice but to start in the middle or the deep end, near the diving blocks. OMG. By this time, my heart was racing. The fear of drains was lurking at the back of my mind. I lowered myself onto the pool at the deep end. It has a 1.5m ledge on its edges, and I propped my feet there in the water… It felt strange. I haven’t swam in pools, in like, 3 years, since I got seriously tattooed.
I ducked my head underwater, searching for drains along the floor… but it’s so hard to see anything. I can’t even see the floor very clearly, save for the immediate bit under me and about 2m radius around me. It was terrifying, not knowing where the drains were… it’s gotta be somewhere here in the deep end of the pool.
After a few minutes I calmed myself down enough to do a few laps, taking half the pool length and back towards the diving block area, keeping myself close to the pool edges. All the while looking for drains. I could hear my heartbeat while underwater, it was beating really fast. I was scared and excited at the same time, knowing that I was either on the verge of breaking my phobia, or a panic attack, and worst of all I was by myself! I should’ve brought a friend!
At some stage, (I think about 5 laps) the fear got into me and I couldn’t take it anymore. I rushed towards the stairs, climbed out, and sat on one of the post-Chernobyl beach chairs, dripping, heaving and panting.
I glanced at my G-Shock watch… I had spent a total of half hours in the mystery water! Success! Zero drain encounter! I smiled, thinking that it wasn’t too bad after all. I could definitely do this again. It was then I felt a sting on my toes…
Crap, I must’ve cut myself while climbing out of the pool or something. Okay, that means it’s time to grab my stuff from the car, shower and go home…
The showers are creepy and really old, there’s no bench to put your bag on, and as you can see, the curtain was torn. It’s cold shower only. What do you expect.
I took another photo before it’s time to head back. Here’s my verdict:
– Close to my house
– Cheap ticket price
– Not crowded
– Water quality not so good
– Lockers are not secure
– Shitty changing room
Verdict: You get what you pay for. I might or might not go back there again, it’s undecided…