Hilarious account of a Turkish hamam experience
My friend Dusha recently visited a traditional Turkish bathhouse. Here is his account of what happened, reproduced with his permission.
Hamam – Turkish Bathhouse. Let me take you through the steps.
Step 1 – Pick your style. We picked traditional which includes a body scrub, wash, 30 minute oil massage, and unlimited time in the hamam which is a huge piece of octagonal heated marble stone in a massive room. Sounds indulgent right?
Step 2 – Go to private lockable room and change into tartan loin cloth so you are reminded which clan you belong to.
Step 3 – Escorted into marble room to lay on hot stone, akin to a huge steam room.
Step 4 – Just as you begin to relax, what resembles a big hairy gorilla from the jungles of Africa says ‘come’. Excuse me sir but I hardly know you!
Step 5 – The gorilla begins to dry scrub your body with a really harsh cloth. Meanwhile as you keep sliding away, he brutally tugs your legs back into his Gorillas in the Mist hands.
Step 6 – The gorilla then lathers your whole body with soap – what they call a soap massage. OK then, slippery when wet!
Step 7 – Throw hot water all over you to wash off the soap, careful not to wet my hair! … oops too late … now you’re wet.
Step 8 – ‘Come with me Mr’ is my command as I’m led to another area with wash basins. ‘Sit!’ are my instructions.
Step 9 – Scrub the fuck out of your face, arms and neck. Oops, there’s a spot on your face that still has skin on it, let’s get rid of that! Scrub scrub scrub.
Step 10 – When was the last time you washed your hair? Doesn’t matter … Scrub scrub scrub!
Step 11 – ‘Shower!’ OK, but please don’t hurt me anymore.
Step 12 – Line up for your oil massage. Phew – looking forward to that!
Step 13 – Hunky Turkish man summons you to his table. ‘Lay down face in hole!’ OK, but I hope it’s clean and hairless, otherwise no tongue big hunky Turk!
Step 14 – Apply so much pressure you think your muscles are going to be squeezed out of your skin. Tap tap slap slap shlack shlack shlack.
Step 15 – Tense your body so much from the pain of having Mr Muscle drive his thumb into sensitive spots of your body, legs and shoulders … you wish you never came here.
Step 16 – ‘Roll please!’ You comply for fear of your neck being snapped like an injured bird.
Step 17 – Repeat torture massage and acupressure in front of body as per rear.
Step 18 – Hold back your tears and return to big marble table for further basting.
Step 19 – Look bewilderedly at the ceiling above and the light coming in through the little round windows and pray that you will be taken to heaven.
Step 20 – Have another shower to allow your already waterlogged skin to absorb more moisture. That’s it, now you’re cooking. Yep, literally.
Step 21 – Return to locker room, change, and run! Just keep running!