Friday, April 27, 2012

. . . . She Said

I needed no coaxing or cajoling to head to the Hammam. We found a discounted rate on entry tickets and, leaving Paul and Chloe behind in the hostel, off I went (just me and my ticket. I had read up on Hammams and understood I would be given a cover-up so no bathing suit for me).

After checking in a woman came to get me, gave me a key and showed me to the locker room. After changing and donning my "tea towel" she took me by the hand, led me to a bench and brushed a mask on my face. I was then led into the sauna and told to leave in 30 minutes (or when the sand timer is up) and hop in the shower to wash off the mask.

Showered and ready for my scrub down, I walked into a white tiled room and sat on the bench around the edge of the room, listening to the boisterous banter of the black underwear clad Turkish women who were scrubbing, lathering and massaging a group of French ladies on the hexagonal slab in the centre of the room.

My turn finally arrived and laying down on my tea towel I had a scrub down that seemed to remove 9 months worth of dirt from my body. The woman even seemed surprised, lifting my arm to show me the dirt that remained in eraser-like peelings on the surface of my skin. She finished off with a lather, a quick massage and a firm slap on the back before sending me back to the showers.

I had never felt cleaner and returned to the room with one piece of advice for Paul's visit the following day: wear a bathing suit!

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