Date registered: June 4, 2013
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It is not close but you might go to the natatorium (huaxing lu), it is in the east corner of the old town, right across the river from the tv tower. It has an olympic size outdoor pool (50m x 25 m, 2 m deep). It is open every day from 6.30 to 21.45. The day shift til 17.30 is 20 rmb, the evening shift 25 rmb. During the daytime it is very quiet, 30 to 40 people in the pool. I assume it is busier in the weekends and during school holidays. Lockers are 20 rmb deposit, changing rooms are public. The showers are cold and naked showering mandatory. You definitely want to wear slippers! If you have long hair they might ask you to wear a cap. The pool temperature is warmish and it is well chlorinated. Around the pool are 6 liveguards. I think this pool is better and definitely cheaper than the olympic icecube in beijing.
Well that didn't work for me. I got stuck with the captain. My visum is issued in Beijing and I am a resident (registered with the police) of Chengdu. That means I can' t take the exam here (my residence permit is not issued in Chengdu) and I can't take the exam in Beijing (as I am no Beijing resident). The first issue could be resolved in future with the relaxed visa extending regulations. The latter issue can only be resolved by spending a lot of money (fly to Beijing, rent an appartment, register and then take the test). And hoping I am not stupid enough to fail the test after these investments.