While being in Morocco for school I got the opportunity to visit a real traditional hammam in the medina of Rabat. This experience wasn’t like anything I’ve done before and I got to see the real Moroccan culture.
A few weeks ago, I travelled to Morocco with a group of people from my school to experience what’s it like to work as a journalist abroad. During the first 3 days of our stay we stayed with a host family. The mother of the family asked all the girls to visit the hammam with her. In the end only two of us agreed to come with her.
Before going there, I had no idea what to expect because I had been told that every hammam is different. All I knew is that I had to go there just wearing my underpants and no bra. Beside that I knew I would only be surrounded by woman and it is a traditional washing ritual.
When we entered the building we had to take of our clothes, in the beginning it felt kinda weird, but after a while it felt normal. We were brought into a room without any windows. The air was steamy because of all the warm water. There were woman of different ages sitting on the floor, surrounded by colorful buckets of water. Ladies washing each other, children playing in the buckets and women just talking to each other.
Since it was our first time there one of the ladies who worked there helped us with the scrubbing and washing. At first she put some black kind of clay. It had to dry into our skin for about 20 minutes and after she started scrubbing our full body with a special washing cloth. She had us lay on the floor while she was scrubbing. It felt so weird to lay there and I realized what a special moment it was. Having the opportunity to experience such a typical Moroccan cultural event.
After the scrubbing it was time for washing. The lady soaped us with special hammam soap before rinsing us of with buckets of water. The first bucket was warm and enjoyable, the last one was cold.
In the end we’ve spent about an hour and a half in the hammam. I felt so clean and I don’t think my body has ever been this soft. It was a new experience and if I ever return to Morocco, I’ll definitely do it again.