Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My public bath experience

I just don't feel that is right that I don't share my public bath experience, since it is so specific to this culture and we really have no concept of it in the USA. Basically you pay for hot water and space. And to go to a place where there are many women sitting around in only underwear. I went with my host mother, Malika, and she knew exactly what she was doing. You take all your own products and buckets to pour water with. You enter the first room and remove your clothes and place them in a cubby hole. Next you walk into a room which is sort of hot, then you want into another room that is really hot. Think the steam room at the Y. You fill your buckets with water from the hot and cold fountains. Then you get yourself set up on a spot on a bench along the wall. Now you begin the long process of soaping yourself, scrubing yourself, and washing your hair which in theory should take multiple hours. I was there for about 20 minuntes and had already washed my body, washed my hair, and rinsed out my conditioner, when my mother was barely getting started. It's not something that I can see myself going to weekly, but I definatly can see it's value in the winter when I will probably never be warm.