Yes- this post is about my brief visit to Casablanca earlier this month. You guessed it right. Aren’t y’all clever?!
There was one thing on mind since the moment I knew I was going to Morocco- a visit to a hammam aka Moroccan bath. I was warned by everybody, who has ever been to brace myself and be ready for all(out) and nothing(hidden). But let’s face it- I’m Czech and nudity and exposure is in my nature. Or at least so I thought. But as it turns out even having grown up in a country that does “unisex” Fridays at every local sauna (and we do NOT believe in wearing bikinis and trunks in saunas in Czech) and has a huge culture of “naked” beaches cannot quite prepare you for the raw experience that a hammam visit is.
I was accompanied by only one brave female colleague of mine. The other girls have chickened out as soon as the “boobs out” rule was mentioned. Guys on the other hand were more than keen to join in but unfortunately for them Morocco is still a muslim country that does not allow sexes to mingle in this way. We armed ourself with hand-made “savons” and rough mittens purchased on the street market and headed to the nearest public spa. Upon paying the entrance fee we were also shown the price list of services offered… I was too shy to ask what procedures such as “brushing” and “touching” involved and therefore only went for “scrubbing” as that one sounded the safest.
We climbed up a flight of stairs and opened the door to every guy’s wildest dream. I don’t quite know how to describe the spa without making it sound like… well you know what I mean right?
There was steam. Loads of it. Hot water flowing and cold water being splashed around. Lots of female laughter in the air. Blue and white mosaic on the walls, floors and long benches… Benches that were full of naked women of all ages,shapes and sizes. There were boobs and bums everywhere I looked. There was absolutely no escaping it unless I closed my eyes which I couldn’t very well do without coming across as rude. So I just got on with it, sat down with my mitten and soap and started what everybody else was doing. Having a bath. Unlike the rest of the women around me I was done in about 5 mins. I had no idea bathing can take up to 25mins if you do it properly. Seemed like I have never had a proper wash in my life. As I felt awkward just sitting there and trying NOT to watch the other girls I kept on washing myself over and over until I got called out. Called out where do I hear you ask? Well – to The Table. I thought in my wet 25mins on the bench I must have washed away everything there was to be washed. Boy was I wrong! The process hasn’t even started on the bench! I obediently handed my rough mitten over to a massive Moroccan lady and laid flat on The Table. She looked down at my pale body and my red hair and muttered something in Arabic. I presume it must have been “You are gonna look just like your hair in a second” because that’s exactly what happened after about a minute of her throughout scrubbing. She took no mercy on me however loud I growled. I think she was a sadist…
She was done with me in about 10mins. I had no skin left after that. She hosed all of it off the table. I was instructed to get up and go and wash AGAIN! I suppose it only made sense since the layer of skin I have washed before has gone down the drain…
I walked back to the hotel feeling like a newborn and also- strangely- a bit violated.I have been touched in places I didn’t think were accessible to a bare hand. I dreamed about boobs and long wet hair that night. It left me slightly confused on many levels…
The next morning I got up early, walked across the street and found a fresh food street market. Since I had all of my allowance left and an empty suitcase waiting in my hotel I gave in to the foodie in me and bought everything I stumbled upon. Freshly ground fragrant coffee, couscous, the best olives I have ever tasted, massive tomatoes, dark sweet cherries, plump peaches, delicious walnuts and a 2-kilo box of home made honey sweet. And dates of course. Dear Lord- those dates were possibly the most amazing thing that ever touched my lips. In Morocco apparently you don’t buy before you try so I was sorted for breakfast before I even knew it. The street seller were literally forcing their produce down my throat and wouldn’t let me leave before I swallowed and showed them my empty mouth. As I was leaving my bag wasn’t the only thing that was heavier. I would definitely recommend Morocco to anybody who is trying to bulk up. There’s food everywhere. And it’s beyond delicious. I tried to eat it all but failed. There is still plenty more left for everybody else.
Go and get fat peeps!