Saturday, December 8, 2012

Wait... You went in... *GASP*

Well I've finally found time to write in my blog. If you all remember my last post, I promised that I would write more details about my trip. I could talk about countless experiences but I decided to talk about the one I found the most interesting: the public hammam

for mentions of partial nudity
Basically a public hammam is the Turkish equivalent of a steam bath or a sauna. In Morocco there are two types of hammam: public and private. The whole group had the wonderful opportunity to go into one of the public hammams of Moulay Yacoub which are famous for their sulfur springs (apparently it's good for your skin). The experience was quite... interesting.

I was quite overwhelmed at all the women wearing nothing but their underwear (some of them  with children clinging at their legs) swarming around like a pack of bees in a hive. After regaining my senses I stripped down and handed all my bags to what I conveniently call the bag-keeper. Slowly but surely, the whole group ventured into the hammams core a.k.a. the sulfur pool... and that's when I knew what "overwhelmed" REALLY meant. There was now barely any space left to walk much less sit and I was starting to sweat profusely. It as clear upon observation that the women were definetly NOT there to relax. They were srubbing their skin with soap and brushing their children's hair with unmatched ferocity.

By the way, this is the soap they used. Neat huh?

On occasion, a woman would dive into the sulfur pool with one or more knee-high buckets and fill them with sulfur water to the whoots and cheers of the other women. They would then give the buckets to their owners who would use the sulfur water in the bucket to wash themselves. The best thing about the public hammam is the women's utter willingness to help each other. Thoroughly shaken the other girls really wanted to get out but I was determined to get the full experience and as such I leaped into the sulfur pool and HOLY MOTHER OF- IT WAS SCALDING!!! DX

NO WONDER THOSE WOMEN WERE CHEERING!!! Despite the heat, my ever-stubborn self kept swimming in the pool to get the legendary skin-treating properties of sulfur. When I finally got out- to the immense joy of my peers- I dashed towards the exit and before you could say "beet red face" I was out of there. If given the choice I wouldn't go in again but it was a new experience and as such it was totally worth it.