Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Exfoliated Expat

The one piece of advice that I got from everyone I knew who knew anything about Turkey was that I had to visit a Turkish if the shower in my hotel wasn't good enough. Oh, I knew what I was in for...I mean, the Internet can supply all sorts of information, not just baseball scores. I'd been to spas while vacationing (paid for by someone else), and I had experienced massage from a trained masseuse ( related to me),so all the exuberance of others as to how wonderful I'd feel following the incredible experience that awaited me was tempered by the knowledge that there was a certain amount of, let's say, pain involved.
Undaunted and goaded by my sweetie, I set off for one of the oldest Turkish baths in Istanbul. The oppressive humidity inside was my first clue: I was about to lose a few pounds.
I was given a small private room and a little sarong-like thing. For my feet, the host provided some wooden sandals...I felt like one of Cinderella's stepsisters with them on, but I'm no quitter, so I wrapped the sarong around myself, opened the door, and was led to what I suspect was the fourth level of he'll.
In actuality, it was a huge room resembling a basilica containing a large marble slab and surrounded by ten or twelve wash basins. My guide through this ordeal spoke two words of English:"yes" and "sit." He placed a cloth and a pillow on the marble in the cent of the room and pointed me to lie down. The room's humidity had to be close to 100%,and the marble was heated to something like "sear." At that point, I premed I was simply to lie quietly and relax though the slight odor of sizzling flesh and the sound of dripping water made that a bit difficult.
Aft 20 minutes of this, my masseur came back and proceeded to massage my body with soap...which I thought was relaxing. The massage part started, and that wasn't bad, either until he had me flip onto my stomach. The noises from bones popping in my back made it sound like All-You-Can-Eat night at Red Lobster, but then, he discovered a little kink in my right shoulder blade and began to rip my arm from it's socket...and kept returning to that spot despite my whimpering every time he touched it. That part finished, he motioned me over to one of the sinks and said, "sit." I figured it was time to wash off the soap, but it was actually time to take 60-grit sandpaper and flay me alive. To say it felt good would be, uh, a hurt like hell. Oh, did I mention my sunburn? You get the idea.
Thoroughly skinned more or less alive, he took on of those things mystics use to self-flagellate, soaped it heavily, and began the most complete washup since those whales hit the beach last week. Interspersed we a couple of bouts of shampoo (I guess...I had my eyes closed, a lady having lost a contact on this trip), then multiple dousings of frigid water.
My totally soaked sarong was taken from me...replaced by a warm one, a towel wrapped around me, and a towel on my head that made me resemble the album art from a Go Go's album. Led out of captivity, i was given a seat in the lobby...radiating more heat than Chernobyl. The next 20 minutes were spent cooling off and drinking water, and when my body cooled down to normal, I was released...only to hear from my sweetie what a wonderful experience she'd had with her little old lady masseuse.
Several hours later, I feel fine, refreshed from an exhilarating Turkish bath which I would endorse to anyone...
anyone without a sunburn, at least.


Post a Comment

<< Home