The Fabulous Familiar

Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary...

Monday, May 31, 2010

Bird Poo or Turkish Bath? You decide.

I just saw in a glamour magazine that bird poo is the new trend in facial treatments. Apparently, some of the top spas are using the stuff that splats on your car as an exfoliating scrub. This blog entry is not going to be encouraging you to turn an aggravating splat on your windshield (which usually occurs right after a car wash) into your morning ritual.

Instead, it reminded me of another horrifying beauty treatment that I endured a few years ago while studying abroad in the country of Jordan. My friends repeatedly ask for me to tell this story; unfortunately, this is the way some of their friends are introduced to me: "The Turkish Bath" girl. While it will be quite a feat to put this experience into the written word when it has for so long had my body language and crazy hand motions and facial expressions to describe it, I will press on anyway and put this into writing:

I had spent like 7 hours walking around in the Jordan desert, and I was exhausted. We got back to the hotel and there was a sign that said, "Turkish Bath: 20 Euro." My friend and I inquired about what a turkish bath indeed was.

"Oh," said the guy at the counter, "it's just like an American spa. Just like American spa. Very relaxing."

With those words, I was sold. I could think of nothing better than getting a nice massage after a long day of tours. So...I signed up.

My first cue to RUN should have been when they led me outside of the hotel into a nearby hut. Still, I followed like a lamb to the slaughter.

When I got in there, these two Egyptian men in nothing but short swimsuit trunks were standing there to meet me and my friend who was also gullible enough to join.

"Put on this," they said, handing me a white sheet that could have doubled as a placemat. I looked from my body, to the placemat, body to the placemat trying to see how this was going to work at all.

Still, I obeyed. I came out, clinching this white thing around me for dear life. One sneeze and this sucker would have been gone. I hobble behind the man and he leads me into this nearby room. Instead of the candles, soft music and dim lights I expected from an American spa, I was instead met with warehouse-type lighting that could have been in one of the SAW movies. There is not a speck of decoration except for this huge marble slap that is about 3 feet high.

"Get on marble," he instructs flatly.

I expect him to leave the room or at least turn around because there is absolutely no lady-like way to get up on this marble while wearing a white napkin for coverage. Unfortunately, privacy is not a priority here in Jordan and he just stands there following his direct order. Thanks.

I finally belly flop onto the marble and he comes at me with buckets of lukewarm water. He begins to throw them at me like the scene in Fantasia {cue the music and the brooms!}

As soon as I would think he was finished, I would look up with open eyes and *WHOOSH* another waterfall would hit me in the face and make my eyes quickly become bloodshot.

He then came at me with these oven mits that had little scrubbers on them. You know why they call it a "Turkish Bath"? Because they basically scrub you down and, well, bathe you.

After we're done with that part of the session, he leads me to this other room, equally as creepy, and instructs me to lay face-down on this massage bench that is designed for body types like the Olsen twins. Half my body is hanging off and I stick my head through the hole as I stare down at the nasty floor.

The bucket of water ritual seems to be a constant throughout this whole ordeal, and he begins to pour water on my head again and proceeds to do this water massage that consists of circular motions that an 80-year-old woman would have the strength to do. So much for getting the stress knots out.

Because the chair is so narrow, my arms are hanging off the side. During one of his massseuse maneuvers, he pins my arm against the table in a not-so-ideal position. This is the point at which this nightmare becomes inadvertently PG-13 rated as my hand is (not by choice, mind you) TRAPPED. I am not going to expand upon how it was trapped or what made this situation less than stellar, but use your wildest imagination and you can probably guess why I was going forward the following Sunday.

Once he stepped back slightly, you better believe my arms flew up like a penguin sliding down an ice ramp.

After throwing more water on my face and washing my hair, he wrapped a dry towel around me even though I volunteered to do it myself. As he was wrapping me up, he began to whisper, "You from America? American girl?"

This is the point at which I thanked God for my time on Earth; for the opportunity to travel, and for letting me see the world before I died mid-bath.

Luckily, the guy let me go and served me some hot tea. As I was sipping my tea, I began to feel my face turn back to its normal shade of beige instead of the firecracker red it had been for two hours. Instead of feeling clean, though, I felt dirty. I felt embarrassed. I just wanted to go back to the hotel and take my own bath, use my own soap and get clean with my own personal loofah.

As I marched back to the hotel, I began to see some of my fellow classmates. "How was the spa?" they asked. The red returned to my face and my only response was, "It was NOT a spa." Laughter ensued, and before I knew it, I began to laugh about it too. It has since become one of my classic stories of Ashton naivety.

Though at the time I may have chosen the bird poo, I look back and laugh that I didn't.


Blogger Cole said...

hahahaha this is so hilarious! I think I might want an in-person run-down of the event tho because I can imagine your facial expressions and intonation would make the story 100x funnier!

June 17, 2010 at 11:11 AM  

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