Turkish Bath: Not So Spa-Like

Jason and I went to world's oldest day spa yesterday: the ancient Cemberlitas baths. In the ladies' area, there's a giant slab of steaming travertine where you sit and wait (prudishly, if you're an American), wrapped in your table cloth of a towel, for one of the bath women to start your service. The bath women, regardless of their age, build or amount of body hair, where nothing but string bikini or thong bottoms. This shocked me, but put me somewhat more at ease with my own table cloth situation. My bath lady came over, roughly freed me of my table cloth and started scrubbing me with a dry loofah. She removed 34 years of dead skin, plus some that was still alive. Then she soaped me up and washed me like a dog. A well-loved dog, but without any ceremony or regard for my modesty. She rinsed me, then sent me to another lady who was wearing more clothes. This lady covered me with so much oil I could barely keep myself on the slab of travertine. The massage was great. I went back to the hotel clean, greasy and happy, if liberated of my dignity and some of my skin.