The Moroccan Hammam

Yesterday I experienced the Moroccan hammam. It was almost exactly as I imagined although there was no way I could have possibly anticipated the intensity of the scrubbing that would take place on my skin. Caroline and I arrived at the hammam bringing with us our shampoo, conditioner, towel, and some words of wisdom from our cab driver. We shuffled into a small room and bought the necessary black soap and exfoliating mitt along with a ticket and then were, in no less than 5 minutes, launched into the depths of the hamman in nothing besides our swimsuit bottoms. Luckily our friends’ host mom clued us in on the process because we had no idea what we were doing and couldn’t understand anyone. Eventually we found ourselves lathered up in soap, laying directly on the hammam’s floor with an attendant scrubbing our bodies down with these rough exfoliating mitts. It was painful. I got shampoo in my eyes, soapy water in my mouth, and left with conditioner in my hair but the experience was well worth it. I wouldn’t say that it was particularly relaxing as the attendant frequently dumps entire buckets of hot water over your head and brutally scrubs every inch of you but I felt really great afterward. I definitely would go again but would not pay for the attendant. It was pretty expensive and now that I know how things go I’m fairly certain I could manage on my own. I’m really glad that we were able to fit the hammam into our trip and can truly say that you shouldn’t skip out on an opportunity to experience it for yourself. I would highly recommend going with a local to save yourself from the majority of the awkwardness though!

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