Lifestyle / Wanderlust

Moroccan Hammam Nightmare

Morocco has always been one of the top 5 countries I wanted to visit. It started when I read the little prince by Antoine de St Exupéry. Like him,I always thought I’d explore the Sahara, sleep under the stars and write a memoir of my own. While that didn’t happen, I spent two weeks exploring Morocco from Rabat to Marrakech. What I Learned from my trip was probably better than having a revelation in the middle of the Sahara desert.

In the course of two weeks, I visited Rabat, then made my way to Fez by train and finally to Marrakech. There were several highlights on this trip, let’s explore them through these visuals:

  1. Rabat

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2. Exploring Rabat on foot

4. Ryad in Fez

 

5. Day trip to the blue city Chefchaouen

 

6. Marakkech

 

All in all, I enjoyed my trip and after spending 3 months studying for finals, it was a great way to relax and forget about my responsibilities. So naturally, I wanted to end my trip on a good note by going to a Hammam.

Hammam’s are spas for both women and men in the Maghreb and even some countries in the middle east. It sometimes involves, relaxing in a sauna, a full body scrub, body mud mask, and a full body oil massage. Needless to say, after traveling around the country for 2 weeks, I was ready for some me time. I arrived at the Hammam and was greeted by a  woman possibly in her late 30’s. She explained  that I needed to get undressed and wear a “disposable thong” before getting in the sauna. I nodded then stood in the dressing room waiting for her to give me some privacy but she kept gesturing for me to undress. So I took off my clothes, then my prosthetics. As she was organizing my belongings in the locker,  I took off my shirt and my tights exposing several scars throughout my body (from my failed hip replacement & amputation)- I turned around to find her weeping then crying uncontrollably at the sight of my body. First couple of thoughts that quickly came to mind were: 

“Maybe she knows someone with similar scars and it’s bringing painful memories”

“Maybe she thinks I’m in pain”

“Maybe she’s trying to imagine what I must have gone through to earn these scars”

All these thoughts brought me back to senior year in college when a new friend  asked what happened to me. I started with tales of my diagnosis, being in the hospital and some failed surgeries and right away she started crying. Before I knew it, I was comforting her and assuring her that I was not longer in pain and that I’d been in remission  for  a while.

(Now back to the hammam-) In a split second I wondered what to say to comfort this woman. So with a firm voice I said “If you’re gonna cry the whole time, please send someone else in here!”

In both cases, somehow, I felt as if it was my duty to comfort these two women. In college I acted without regards to my own feelings. In the Hammam however, what I learned that day was to stop holding myself accountable for someone else’s feelings.  Through my journey of cancer diagnosis and dealing with the aftermath I’ve shed a lot of tears (enough tears) but most importantly at that point I decided that my mental well being was more important than anyone pitying me.


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-Mama Cax

19 thoughts on “Moroccan Hammam Nightmare

  1. Okay. I just disvovered your blog and first I thought: Wow! What a stunning woman!!! Then I saw your Moroccan pics and I felt envy, lots of it lolll! Destination dream… One day… Then I read cancer and retain my breath then I was relieved when you said to that woman to stop crying for you and I thought: Wow! What a beast! And I laughed… And Im just waking up… Will come back for sure, what an awesome dose of energy you gave me!!! Im in love, lollllllllll 😉

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  2. I once went to a morrocan bath and the lady scrubbed the sh*t out me also scrubbed the hair and face but I wasn’t sure how it was supposed to work so I went on with the flow… she said “look maám you’re so dirty” LOL. How did the rest of the “relaxation” go?

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    • Unfortunately it happens, too often. Can’t control how others will react but a part of growing and becoming more mature is that it rarely offends me, I just learn how to ignore some people.

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