|Visiting a Modern Hammam|
|What Happens in a Hammam |
Once entering the hammam, you will find yourself in a dressing room, or camekan, which is surrounded by private cubicles where you dress.
Your assistant will give you a cotton wrap, or pestemal, and a pair of slippers, or terlik, together with a key to your cubicle.
Once you have removed all your clothing and wrapped the cotton cloth around you sarong style like a skirt, you are ready to go.
Your attendant will ask you if you need a soap, towel or shampoo. It is advised to bring your own as, though, some baths do offer them, but they are expensive and probably not high quality.
You will be proposed a bath and massage, or just bath. Also you will be given the choice of bathing yourself or receiving a scrub, or massage.
Working Up a Sweat in a Turkish Bath
You will be taken to a warm, humid room with a raised stone platform (goebektas) in the center, surrounded by bathing alcoves, in pretty colored quartz tiles. The tiles eliminate static electricity from the air, and help to relax the mind and body. The light, diffused through glass in the ceiling is soft and relaxing.
You will be offered to lay on the platform, (but you can sit if you prefer) which is heated, and worked up a sweat. Your attendant then will lead you to one of the basins, and then you will be scrubbed cleaner than you ever have been. The attendant, firstly, will use coarse mitt to remove layers of dead skin, then came the soap. She will apply a lacy cloth, like an icing bag, and then blow through it to create bubbles. You will be covered from head to toe with white frothy bubbles, with your hair piled high, and will enjoy a wonderful scalp massage.
Next, you will be doused in warm water again and your attendant will disappear, allowing you to clean your private areas yourself. Total nudity is fine here, but some women wore underwear.