Wednesday, March 07, 2012

A Turkish WHAT? ~Wadi Musa, Jordan

I sat undecided on this one, post, or not to post, has been my question.

This is the story of my Turkish Bath experience. What is a Turkish Bath? What does it sound YOU? Exactly. A bath. This might get a little uncomfortable. It was for me, an

I decided to err on the safe side and wear my two piece, you know, because I didn't exactly know what to expect, and I wasn't about to let some stranger wash "my business," as my friends, The Welchs, say.

So, first things first. You go into THIS room and sit in silence with several other people who also have no idea what is about to go down.

Next, the lovely Arabian lady motions to you to go to the locker room to take your clothes off and wrap yourself in this piece of fabric-WITH A TOTAL STRANGER (a woman, thank God, but still...a stranger?)

Next, the Arabian lady leads you into this room. You cannot see because there's so much steam.
...and it gets hot.

Then, she "shoo-s" you through that door...where it's hotter...
...and steamier...

...into THIS room, where people are sitting right in front of you who you cannot see.
A man, who is also awaiting an unknown fate (but at least has the comfort of his wife), calls out and tells you where an open bench is. Otherwise, you could have easily sat on someone's lap, and since we're all pretty much buck naked (except for that trusty two piece I strapped on)...that could have been awkward.

So, you sit here for a good hour, sweating your butt off. If you get too hot, you can go "cool off" in the other steam room (the one you walked through to get to the face of the sun).

...and then it gets weird.

That short little Arabian lady comes back in to get you. At this point, you don't know if you're sweating because you've just been steamed to death, or if it's because you have no idea what this lady is about to do to you-and she doesn't speak English and you don't speak Arabic. So you choose to follow her.

You follow her into this room, where, thank the Lord, you two are the only people.
Awkward? No...not yet...

THEN: The lady takes your cloth off and throws it over the table. Motions for you to take your top piece off and goes over to get ready. READY FOR WHAT?!!! Not knowing the Arabic word for, "HECK, NO!" take your top off and lay down thinking, "I am completely humiliated right now. What the heck did I do this for (you know, aside from the 7 pounds you just lost in the steam room)?!"

After the lady washes you...almost every inch of be completely truthful, I think she might know my body better than Dallas does now, but I'm goin' with it...
She cracks you. Your toes, your hips, your get cracked...naked (except, I kept those trusty bottoms on! ...although, by the end of this experience, I don't know why, exactly)

When the lady's finished with you, she motions for you to come over to this little corner with all the hot water she's been using, and makes you kneel down. She starts pummeling you with hot water until you are..."clean."

When she is satisfied with your cleanliness, and you have almost drowned, she motions for you to stand up, where she wraps a towel around your head (turbin style), a towel around your body so everything but your legs and most of your butt cheeks are covered, and then throws a third towel around your shoulders.

She brings you back out here for a cup of tea with all of the other humiliated Turkish Bathers.
You drink your tea, pondering what sort of tip, exactly, you would leave for this sort of violation.

Five shekels?


the welches / הוולציס said...

I'm so glad you posted this...I'm only sad I didn't get to experience it with you...or maybe I was better off that way!

Erin Runkles said...

Wow, Kelly. Remind me never to go anywhere even remotely "Turkish" with you!