The Moroccan Hammam: Why Each Traveler Ought to Step Outdoors Their Consolation Zone

The Moroccan Hammam: Why Every Traveler Should Step Outside Their Comfort Zone


As an American, my upbringing was fairly conservative concerning nudity. For that reason I needed to expertise an area Moroccan Hammam, additionally because of this I’ll nonetheless giggle about it like a college baby as I write this tip. I imply no disrespect. 

I’ll begin with sharing a number of suggestions for experiencing a Hammam in Morocco.

The Moroccan Hammam
The Moroccan Hammam

A couple of suggestions for experiencing a Moroccan Hammam 

For a Actual Expertise You Should Go to a LOCAL Moroccan Hammam

Accommodations and resorts provide hammam as nicely, however many are very westernized and lack authenticity. Search for a extra genuine Moroccan Hammam – here’s a few places in Marrakech.

Pay For an Attendant to Wash You Relatively Than Washing Your self

Once more, I like to recommend this for the complete expertise, however for those who selected to scrub themselves, analysis etiquette first and know that it is not uncommon courtesy to supply to wash the again of the individual subsequent to you, so don’t be completely weirded-out if this occurs. The favor ought to be returned. 

Convey Shampoo/Conditioner and a Towel 

Convey a scrub glove (kiis) should you’re a germ-a-phobe and have points with the attendant utilizing her personal (sure, it has been used on others). They are often bought on the souks together with the black cleaning soap (which is made out of the nut of an olive tree) or Rhassoul (clay from the Atlas Mountains). Generally these things could be bought on the hammam or the attendant will provide it. 

Leaving Your Bra/Prime on Will Make You Look Foolish 

New tradition, new norms. Love your physique. Lose the bra. 

Full Frontal Nudity Is Offensive in Some Hammams

This isn’t the case for the hammam I attended, nevertheless it’s best to play it protected and put on one thing on backside.

My Moroccan Hammam Expertise

I paid 50 dirham for my hammam (about 5 USD) with an attendant. It’s customary to tip her on the finish. It was 10 dirham to do it your self. I walked into a shower home fairly oblivious to what was about to occur to me, other than a number of Australian journey mates regaling me with their expertise. All of the whereas sharing glances and giggles whereas reassuring me, “Will probably be wonderful. It’s not that dangerous.” 

I entered what seemed like a ready room filled with bare ladies, simply sort of hanging out. Possibly stress-free. Enjoyable? Bare? With Strangers? Giggle, giggle, blush, blush.

However bear in mind, go together with an open thoughts. I took my cue and shed the garments. A fairly massive, toothless and topless attendant got here in to get me. We entered room quantity two, which is basically a big bathe room with low tiled benches alongside the partitions for sitting and cleansing. After indicating for me to have a seat, she positioned a bench in entrance of me, and crammed two buckets of water. She started lathering me with the normal black cleaning soap. Simply because it begins to sink in that you simply’re sitting in a public bathe room whereas a unadorned lady bathes you, she pulls out the glove and tells you to lie down. 

As I lay bare, face down, on a tile flooring, she scrubbed me in methods I’ve by no means been scrubbed. After which I flipped over for a front-side scrub down. It’s not nice. It’s awkward. It hurts.  

This isn’t a modest second of spa therapy. She means enterprise, and whereas she’s bending and scrubbing, elements of her physique are smashed towards elements of my physique that are wedged someplace between her and the ground.  

As soon as she finishes the therapy, she flashes a smile and exhibits me the disgusting filth, grime, and useless pores and skin on her glove and the ground round me. The remnants of showerless nights after lengthy mountain treks and sweaty dessert camel using washed down the drain with a group of different strangers’ muck and mire. I used to be gross…however now I’m easy…extremely easy…because the day I used to be born easy! 

Enter room quantity three-the hottest room. At this level I had recovered from the preliminary shock of the expertise. Filling my very own bucket with sizzling water (greater than two is grasping), I discovered a seat and rinsed the remaining cleaning soap and pores and skin from my pink and newly revealed layer. 

For the Moroccan ladies and kids, this is a chance to get out of the home and go to with pals and gossip concerning the newest. Was this a cushty expertise for me? I can’t say it was. However vacationers should make it a precedence to step out of their very own cultural consolation zone to get probably the most out of an expertise.

With that stated, I’ve had some fairly awkward moments away from house, and typically we don’t know when to chortle or once we ought to chew our cheeks and endure the discomfort to make sure we don’t offend. There have been a number of moments throughout my Moroccan hammam expertise once I needed to chew my cheeks and attempt to take away myself from my very own cultural judgments. “Oh if my pals might see me now” I assumed to myself with amusing. In the long run, journey is about perspective. 

So what did I take from the expertise, in addition to extremely delicate pores and skin and a great story to share? 

That is my opinion…

If Hammams existed within the U.S, they’d solely include extremely lovely ladies with good our bodies. As a result of that’s all we’ve got right here? Completely not. As a result of the remainder of the ladies could be too ashamed and self-conscious of their physique to permit different ladies to see it.

The Moroccan hammam is a wholesome manner for youngsters to develop to understand and for girls to simply accept their pure our bodies. I thought of how uncomfortable American tradition is with nudity; nevertheless, exploits any alternative to make use of intercourse or an airbrushed mannequin to promote issues.

We aren’t conservative about nudity, we’re conservative about sure sorts of nudity…actual, pure, dare I say unappealing nudity. I’m not saying everybody get bare and hug, however I do imagine that exploiting one sort of nudity whereas shaming one other sends a harmful combined message. I imagine in a pure steadiness. An increasing number of ladies are resorting to plastic surgical procedures, under-eating, or over-eating whereas American youth proceed to decorate like the photographs they see on the billboards. We’re hurting ourselves and our kids. 

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