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Wednesday: Hammam

Posted on Apr 6, 2006 by in 2006 Spain Morocco | 2 comments

Today I got naked with 3 of my male friends. Not something that one
would normally admit in a blog on the internet … but it was simply
…. the result of heading across the street to get relaxed
after our long train trip. But let me start from the beginning ….

So … we slept decently on the train from Tangier through
Casablanca and onto Marrakech. The 1960’s train is surprisingly smooth
and comfortable, and before we know it we’ve arrived — about 11 hours
later — in Marrakech. It’s in a green countryside, kind of
poor-looking, and not terribly interesting from the train station, but
we don’t care. All we want is to get to our hotel to clean up a bit.

We get to the hotel, and immediately run into Rachel … followed by
Stacie and Boaz, Ed and Eden, and Adam and Galeen. It’s cool to meet
your friends thousands of miles from home, and it lends this strange
“Where am I?!?” feeling to everything, because if my friends are here I
can’t be too far from home …. except for the camels, donkeys,
horse-drawn carriages, snake-charmers, souks, arabic letters, mosques,
smells, monkeys, and utter chaos of everything. Yeah, except for that
stuff, I almost don’t feel that far from home.

However, you’re probably just reading to hear about nakedness and
the vague sexual suggestions, so I should tell the story, I guess. We
go across the street to the Hammam (Arabic Bath) for a massage. We get
in, and the lady basically tells us to get naked (not only in front of
each other, but in front of her!) and so we do. We sit like idiots in
this hot room for about 30 minutes before we figure out it’s only
really just the “shower” room, and we’re supposed to use the old wooden
bucket to splash water on ourselves and clean up, not just sit around
uncomfortably, trying to hear the small talk in an echo chamber filled
with the sound of running water.

Everything, of course, ends up fine, and we spend a total of 5 hours
getting clean and relaxed after our many days of travel. We leave for
lunch, and go to the Jamaa al Fnr (something like that) square for a
fantastic — but probably terribly dangerous — lunch at one of the
open stalls there. It was a whole 150 dirham for the 4 of us (me, the 2
Marks and Boaz) … which is like $17, including sodas and the food.
Not bad, considering the horribly expensive prices of Spain.

The square itself is ridiculously over the top. There are snake
charmers, monkeys, traders selling everything — including human
teeth!! — and thousands of people, mostly locals. Crazy … but the
essence of Morocco …


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  1. Sounds…um…interesting. So did you pick me up a necklace made of human teeth? I’ll be the envy of all my friends. Don’t forget to get the matching earrings. Sounds insane, in a good way.

  2. the naked story cracked me up! I had a similar experience in Switzerland at one of the group baths. Of course, you got massages. I only got scrubbed down with some sharp bristled brush. Ouch! Keep up the posting!!!

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