The four of us, 3 Australians and one Canadian, just recently aquatinted wandered through a colourfully tiled hallway into reception of hammam mouassine. We paid 100MAD (10€) and were directed by gestures to go into the next room and strip. Giggling at the situation of getting to know each other so quickly, we stumbled along to the next room. It was warm and steamy and filled with Moroccan women splayed about on mats on the glistening tiles washing themselves (the entry for this was about 50cents, a lot of houses in Morocco don’t have showers so it serves as a communal one). In the centre of the ceiling was a dome pricked with multi coloured holes, poles of light fell through sparking upon contact with the wet floor.
We sat and observed as buckets of water were placed around us. Warm water was thrown violently over us and one by one we met our personal… ‘Scrubber?’ (For lack of a better word). We were soaped up with black Argan oil soap and scrubbed down with mits. We were shown to lay down on the floor were we slid around and relaxed, feeling our layers slowly come off. The women pointed, laughing at all the black skin rolling off us.
They scrubbed our every inch, stomach, feet, our underarms and… Well everywhere!
They then washed our hair and I was brought right back to the bathtub I sat in as a little girl, my mum pouring cups of water over my head. It felt amazing, a sensation id forgotten. I felt completely taken care of being cleaned head to toe, the women took on a strangely maternal role.
A quick rub with something that looked like mud and another wash down we were picked up off the floor and wrapped in towels and lead out to drink mint tea.
I don’t think I have ever taken the time to be so thoroughly cleaned. We all agreed we felt like new born babies and couldn’t stop touching our new skin with huge grins.