I got home last night from an 8 day trip to Istanbul, Zagreb, and Dubrovnik. I really enjoyed all three cities and while I would love to tell every hilarious story and amazing detail of the trip, I don’t have time to write a novel. Instead, I’ll tell you about my experience getting a Turkish bath, a highlight of my time in Istanbul.
When we arrived, we were given our bath tokens and directed toward the women’s side. First, you take off all your clothes and put on a bikini bottom-ish thing that is provided. Then you uncomfortably wait around clueless and topless in a room full of Turkish women blow-drying their hair and getting ready to go out (we went at like 9pm) until a very short, very large Turkish woman with enormous breasts wearing either lingerie or topless takes you by the hand, drags you into a beautiful sauna-like room with a vaulted dome and forcibly directs you to lie on a hot stone bed. You try to relax there until one of the Turkish women comes over and starts soaping you up and scrubbing you down. Now you’re simultaneously trying not to laugh because it tickles so much, trying not to cry because there’s soap in your eyes, and trying to pay attention to the physical instructions the woman is giving you (hint: a tap on the butt means “turn over”). When you are done being scrubbed, you are dragged over to a fountain where buckets of water are poured over your head until all the soap is gone. Lastly, you are placed in a hottub-like pool where you float around and reflect on what just happened to you. Although it was a bit stressful being completely clueless, the bath did make my skin feel incredible. It was so great that we discussed going again the next night. Definitely a memorable experience.
Here are a few of the billion pictures I took of my travels:
Istanbul Spice Market
*Reprinted with Tracy’s permission from her blog, CWTOCPH
Tracy Brinkerhoff ’14 is spending her Spring 2013 semester in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is an English major and an Economics minor with a strong interest in sustainability. I enjoy a chai latte, a good novel, and a warm cat. I’m a member of Orchesis Modern Dance Company and Chi Omega Sorority.