Yes, Valentine's Day is a thing in Morocco. As a newly pieced together group that has already professed love for each other, we figured there's only one way to celebrate V-Day in Morocco: MOJ style, specifically the girls (sorry dudes). What better way to get out with the girls than go to the hammam, AM I RIGHT?!
(PS--a hammam is a public bath.)
I'm going to admit it, I was super nervous. I made sure my friends would meet me out in front of the hammam so that I didn't have to go in alone, and before we went in I was a little freaked out. There I was, walking down the street with a towel and a bucket, thinking everyone walking past me knows what I'm going to do. It's not a big deal for people here, but since cleaning yourself is such a private thing in America, I felt awkward and way too public about it.
However, once I got inside and got past the initial stage fright, I realized that it was very relaxing. I thought I'd be more...intimidated?...being surrounded by a bunch of half naked women, and feel way too vulnerable. But everyone keeps to themselves or to their own group, so it's not awkward at all. And it makes sense...if you go with a group, you have someone to scrub your back for you!
So there's a small fee to get into the hammam, and then you go inside and undress. Then you enter another room where the actual bath is, but it's divided into three parts. You hang your towel in the first room, and the last room on the end (which you actually start in) is like a sauna. Very hot! The middle room is where most people stay longest and do their washing, and there are a bunch of faucets lined along the wall where you can fill your bucket. You bring a special type of soap that's either henna or argan based, and a scrubber glove that's just the right amount of rough to get the dead skin off (gross, I know, but you wouldn't believe the amount that comes off of you). I came out of the hammam glowing!
So, that's it, Friday is hammam day with my gals. Do something that makes you feel uncomfortable at first. You never know if you'll like something until you try.
(In case you were wondering, my friends and I feel much closer now.)
Just a quick note--I am traveling this week. Yay, excursion #1! I will be going to Fes, Marrakech, south toward the desert where I'll be riding a camel (!), and Essauoria, with some stops in between. We will be gone for a week. I'm bringing my laptop for when we're in hotels, but I don't know if I'll have time to blog. I'll certainly update when I get back though!