Friday, September 19, 2008

Customary for the ladies to dispense with bathing-dresses

I WAS strongly inclined to spend several weeks in Helsingfors. The bathing is delightful, and the manners and customs of the people are primitive and interesting. My adventure on the sea-shore, as I soon discovered, was nothing uncommon. I mentioned the matter to my landlady —a Finnish woman of very sociable manners, who spoke a little English. I asked her if it was customary for the ladies to dispense with bathing-dresses. She said they generally wore something when they bathed in public, but beyond the limits of the regular bath-houses, at the end of the Botanical Gardens, they seldom troubled themselves about matters of that kind; in fact, they preferred going in without any obstruction, because "they could swim so much better."

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