Today, I had an hour Thai massage with a thirty minute hammam bath. Now, I did this mainly because I saw a LivingSocial coupon for it and thought, “Hey, that’s a good way to spend an afternoon.” Except, I didn’t really research what a “hammam bath” actually is because I (mistakenly) thought it was very relaxing and, well, bath-like. As in, I soak in water that is warm, sort of like a hot tub, but with less chlorine and semen. Oh, but why wouldn’t what should be a relaxing afternoon turn into another installment of the hilarity that is my life? That would just be like screwing with the general order of nature and we wouldn’t want to do that, would we?
Our story begins in a little Thai massage parlor in the deuxieme arrondisement. The first thing they gave me were plastic flip flops, extremely small “panties”, and a robe to wear while I walked to my “bath.” We walk downstairs and she leads me into a room that has a shower in the right corner and what looks to be a steam room ahead of me. She hands me a glass of water and then tells me she’ll be back in thirty minutes.
What the hell do I do now?
I undress and then take a shower, unsure of the order in which I’m meant to do things. Shower first? After steam room? Shower in between steams? Shower after? SOMEONE GUIDE ME.
After my shower, I grab the towel and seat cushion they provided me and head into THE HOTTEST ROOM EVER IN THE HISTORY OF HOT ROOMS NOT JOKING YOU THINK I’M JOKING AND BEING DRAMATIC? YOU’RE WRONG. SO HOT.
I sit there on my seat cushion that is made of leather (leather! too hot for leather!) and start toweling myself off, because I’m already sweating out my entire body’s supply of water after just two minutes. Wait, I’ve only been in here for two minutes? Holy shit. What do I do in here for thirty minutes? I’m going to die. Do people die in here? Is it possible? I can’t breathe. Why can’t I breathe? Is it getting hotter? THIS IS TOO MUCH STEAM.
As I sit there contemplating my imminent death, I think back to when I thought this was going to be a relaxing mineral bath of some sort. I wonder how naive I could be to believe such lies. Hammam BATH? Did you mean, bathing in your own sweat? Because, yeah, that’s more accurate.
Like, I’ve been in steam rooms and saunas before, but this one takes the hot, steamy cake. I was sweating within seconds. And, after five minutes, I wondered why the hell I had this seat cushion only to realize it was probably a pillow. So, I laid down, hoping that maybe I would be less hot in a more horizontal position, but quickly realized that all the sweat pooling on my face was now going into my eyes and so I quickly sat up, hoping that there was not a security camera that was watching me sit my ass on a pillow and then, upon realizing my mistake, then blinding myself with my own sweat.
Nothing about this blog post is attractive. I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE RELAXING.
To be fair though, when I eventually exited the death steam trap, my skin felt like the softest, most exfoliated version of whatever the fuck my skin was before. I then took a very cold shower, sending my body into, I’m sure, some sort of shock, exfoliated even further with the shower salts, and then put my robe back on and waited for the next installment of this very interesting experience.
I was then escorted into my massage area, where I was given what was actually one of the best massages I’ve ever had. Right up until I turned face up and the woman took off the towel from my chest and started to massage both my stomach and boobs while she was hovering over me, positioned not beside the massage table, but actually on top of it. I couldn’t open my eyes for fear that if I caught her eyes while she’s massaging my breasts, I may actually die from awkwardness and embarrassment. It was sort of like a time when you were having sex with someone you didn’t want to be having sex with and all you’re thinking is, “DON’T MAKE EYE CONTACT. WAIT FOR IT TO BE OVER.”
Not that that’s ever happened to me.