Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Hammam

The other night, I went to a hammam. There were ten of us gals - we got together and decided to do a 'ladies' night'. So, we took out bathing suits, our sarongs, and our shampoo and we went to the ladies' night at the nearby Hammam.
It's in a market place, in the second floor, and it's run by six very nice women from Morocco.
First you undress and shower, and put on your bathing suit bottom. Then you go into a big room that's warm and kind of steamy. You cover yourself with 'black soap' which is liquid soap that smells like Marseilles soap (a little like liquid Neutrogena if I had to compare it with something) it’s a greasy soap that doesn't dry out your skin. Then you go into a hot steam bath sauna room. I could only stay 15 minutes - it was really hot. But it felt nice. Afterwards, the woman in the warm room strips your skin off with a rough glove. OK - not really - but that's what it felt like. You lie on a big tiled table, and she scrubs you from head to toe with what feels like a metal sponge, lol. Your dead skin comes off like gray sludge. You're left feeling like you've just been peeled. Then you shower again, and I couldn't stop touching my arms - So Smooth!! My skin was like a baby's skin - and not irritated at all (and believe me, I have allergies to just about everything!) Afterwards, we dried off, put on dry underwear and the sarong, and went to sit in a big room, drank mint tea, and chatted while we waited for our turn at the massage table. There, a very old and very energetic woman rubbed sweet almond oil all over me. She rubbed all the knots out of my muscles, sternly telling me to 'relax!' I finally relaxed. It felt great. My skin glowed. And it was SMOOTH. Then we got dressed and had a big couscous dinner prepared by the ladies. It was Very Good. I stuffed myself. Couscous is a typical North African dish. It's semolina served with lots of vegetables, chick peas, lamb, and spicy sausage. Afterwards there was more mint tea and 'gazelle horns' a delicate pastry with almonds.
(picture of a typical plate of couscous - minus the lamb and sausage)

I met a woman from Lebanon there - and what do two Lebanese gals do when they get together? They talk about the best way to make Kibbi Nayye! (Of course)
We got home around midnight - and my skin is Still Smooth!

& in other news:

Congrats to Orion - Great News! (check out her blog)

6 comments:

ORION said...

That all sounds heavenly!
Thank you so much for your good thoughts and wishes.

Bonita said...

Oh, how lovely! I wish I lived closer to something like that -- I use to go get massages, wrappes, and waxes -- it was such a marvelous way to relax and rejuvate. I adore couscous (as long as there is not a lot of garlic).

Wynn Bexton said...

I have a funny story about going to a hammam in Marrakech with some British ladies. I wish I could have had a better experience like you did. And yum! the couscous to follow it all! Made me hungry for Moroccan food!

Typing Slave said...

Oh, that sounds like an amazing experience. Maybe some day... I could say I need the smooth skin for my research :)

Gabriele C. said...

Now that's something you won't find here. Sounds like a nice way to spend an afternoon.

And couscous - yum.

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