Travel & Life Digest

Traditional Moroccan Hammam

Who would have thought that hammams give me the giggles?
Having a hammam in Morocco is one of those things that you have just to experience; and although I had mine in a perfectly nice spa, it still made me feel like a little child being washed by nanny!
The lovely lady at the Spa, took me to a private hammam room, with dry, warm walls and floors. It's not as hot as a sauna and not as humid as a steam room either. She let the tap run for the whole time in a marble cistern, which was both a distraction and a relaxing background sound, in the otherwise sombre room. She told me to stay there for 5 minutes to get used to the heat and relax.
Ok. So there I am, looking around, thinking about the architecture of the room, wondering what to expect...oh and I'm supposed to be relaxing. And then I started giggling. It was just a bit awkward, sitting there, almost naked, trying to relax and look natural!
Right. I though  that a cross-legged position would be the most appropriate, given that the stone bench was too warm to lie down on; so, when the lady walked back into the room, I had finally found peace with the fact that I sitting in a room, by myself, down to my undies.
I was chuffed with myself for managing to look dignified, given the circumstances, had my eyes closed and a little smirk in my face until... she took a little silver bowl, dipped it in the stern of water and emptied it all! Wait, what? And again, this time on my hair. Awkward!
Then she thought she'd cover me in oil, little did she know that as soon as she got close to my neck, I started giggling. I nodded to say I'm ticklish (what's the word for ticklish in French?) and she laughed. Every time she'd get close to my neck I'd cover it with my hands and turn my head to the side and giggle. 

Then came the scrubbing! Word of advice, if you have been even slightly exposed to the sun and feel some irritation don't have a hammam. The heat and the scrubbing will only make your skin hurt. On the other hand, if you are at the beginning of your holiday, do give it a try because you have all of the dead skin removed and you'll tan deeper and it will last longer.
Next thing that made me giggle was sitting there been bathed by this lady.  She had to wash all of the black salt and dead skin off, so I had a "Downton Abbey" moment when she even shampooed my hair and washed it for me. Not to mention that she even scrubbed my ears! I know the whole process is meant to be relaxing but it just felt so childish! I don't think I would have cut it as a lady of leisure in Downton! 
I felt such a fierce rush of blood in my head! The heat and the scrubbing increase blood flow, so you might feel like you want to lie down for a bit afterwards. Finally, another round of oil, another round of giggling and at last, time alone to have tea by the spa pool. Finally, some relaxation!

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