Hammam: The Play by Play (Rated PG-13)

The following blog may contain some adult content:

During our time here we had heard about the elusive “hammam”. This is more or less a Moroccan bath house that many of the locals go to weekly to get a wash in. In my head I was sort of picturing the steam room at your local swanky gym. This is not what happened. We had been warned that this experience was not going to be like the spas in the States, but it was something we really thought we should experience for ourselves. So here is our story of the “hammam”:

We were very lucky to have one of our friends’ host mom come with us on our adventure and we met outside of the hammam. Then things progressed quickly, we were shuffled in the door where we paid a man in a ticket booth to enter. Immediately you are escorted into the changing room where assistants are eager to help you, but recall we cannot communicate with them because they only speak Darija. So there are a lot of hand motions telling you how to proceed, which is translated into “down to your underwear”. Then you are quickly taken back to the far room, which is a steam room. Before you know it the women are soaping you up with this tar-like soap that is combined with henna. Sit and soak. Then buckets of water to wash off the substance. Then, lay down, on the floor. Please hold still while the attendant sloughs off your skin with a mitt (slightly rougher texture than a loofa). Roll around until you have lost a few years of dead skin and then more buckets of water. Please sit as the attendant plops some shampoo on your hair and then lathers. More water buckets. Then sit and relax! That’s it! That’s the hammam. 

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