Turkish Bath. Part One.

Walking into Al Pasha Turkish Bath you see a tiled fountain and a spacious room filled with couches and coffee tables covered in the latest Jordanian fashion magazines. Waiting for my friends I was offered my choice of juice, tea, or coffee and my tea came ready for me to sweeten it just the way I like.
We were led first into the changing room to put on our bathing suits, and from there into the showers. After a quick rinse we began our treatment in the steam room. Through an unassuming arch in the wall and a white curtain, through a sort of vestibule, up four steps into a small stone room lined with stone benches, with small circular colored holes in the ceiling for light and filled with a thick, overbearing steam smelling of something like jasmine or sandalwood. Couldn’t breath at first, but it got easier, especially when relieved by the cool slushy-type juice we were brought. After we sweated out our toxins we were led to the hot tub where we soaked for a good fifteen to twenty minutes while waiting for our exfoliating scrubs. Once atop the marble “scrubbing tables” we were instructed to remove our tops and subjected to a rough – though incredibly effective – scrub down with soap and exfoliating pads. I’m pretty sure they removed skin from places I didn’t know I had. We were all encouraged (independently) by our scrubbing technicians to observe the amount of brown-gray skin gook they had removed and left sitting on our skin before being rinsed off. After the scrub came another hot tub soak in anticipation of the (warm/hot oil) massage. Ahh, the massage, the be-all-end-all of the spa experience. The masseuse began on the shins and the feet (ow and tickle), and proceeded to find all the knots and tight places I could possibly have had. My thighs – front and back – were punched, my back smacked, and my hair pulled. All in a good way – it was incredible and incredibly relaxing. After our massages we returned to the hot tub for a post-treatment soak and from there to the showers where my hair was smoother than I think it has ever been, thanks to the massage oil.
We made grand plans during our numerous soaks to return frequently to the baths. After all, who can say no to that ambience – arches, stucco, tile, low light, humidity, and topless bikini-clad women (men have their own hours, sorry boys) – or to the general sense of relaxation that followed. Don’t worry, we will return – post-midterms, post-finals, and pre-departure. And whenever else my (rapidly slimming) wallet will allow.


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