The one where we went to a Turkish Bath

Our IRP did not end with the final presentation and delivery of our client report. No, Turkey had an additional number of assignments and reflection questions due. Writing about our feelings proved too much, and a few of us escaped to a delightful Turkish Bath for some relaxation.

Rewind to the morning. A representative from a nearby spa accosted us on our way to the beach and showed off a pamphlet of such caliber and professional design that it could have only been made in Microsoft Word. For a mere 50€, we could experience the luxury of a facial, massage, and Turkish Bath. Lauren, Katie, and I made our appointments.

I had only ever experienced the pleasure of a traditional Thai massage. The kind where the women use their elbows to dislocate your shoulders. Lauren and Katie assured me that this would be soothing and that, in their previous American spa visits, we would go au naturale. Naive, wide-eyed, innocent, I believed their words.

After we changed and wrapped picnic blankets around our bodies (I swear, they were red and white and probably pilfered from Yogi bear), we were led to the sauna. The room was tiny and hot, and for a brief moment I believed the door had malfunctioned and we were locked in. Have no fear, my public education taught me a few unforgettable lessons. In case of a fire, the coolest place is the floor. As I tried to convince the others to lay on the floor if they wanted to live, Lauren opened the door. It was pull, not push.

After we were led to the Turkish Bath room, we stood in awkward silence. Two of the attendants were male. They smiled and then, looking at our picnic blankets, also stared awkwardly. Finally, one broke the silence and asked, “No bikinis?”

Once that issue was resolved, we returned to the steaming Turkish Bath. There was a large marble table in the middle of the room, with three mats on top side-by-side. As we laid down and settled in, the attendees began to throw buckets of water on us. The buckets of water turned into bags of bubbles and soap foam, which Lauren and I both accidentally inhaled. Because, you know, people have to breathe. They then slipped on scrubbing gloves. Katie’s guy almost broke her back. Lauren’s guy almost melted her face off with hot water. And lucky me, my attendant was a Thai woman who used her elbows to dislocate my shoulders.

As for the massage, both Katie and I were forgotten in our rooms. Lauren was left out in the waiting area where she entertained European guests touring the facility. And that concludes the story of the time we went to a Turkish Bath.


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