A hammam in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains

Of unequal equality


All I wanted was a shower for a few minutes. But I got a new girlfriend. For half an hour.

Water on the skin was everything I wanted. Because in the mountains there was not even a small river. I had just spent a few days there, sleeping, eating, frozen, sweating, living in open air. I was open to every form of washing. And I wanted to try a hammam on my Morocco trip anyway. So we drove to the nearest Berberörtchen with Hamam. Already on the road we noticed. White women stand out in places where white women are never.

Before the Hammam we received nice, very traditional Berber women. None of them spoke a >Morocco , I saw women who had less weight than me. Namely nothing except a panties. On the streets you can only see them all the way to the face. Only now did I realize that I had immediately deduced from this veiling on a jamming. But that was not the case. Completely free and uninhibited, the women moved there in their nakedness. I was happy for her. It makes me happy to see people with such a natural body feeling. And then people I did not expect.

I moved with them immediately, as my hammam treatment wife came - and undressed. Like everyone else, she stared at me. I wanted to exchange a few words with her. If you are so bared face to face, I wanted to try, at least a bit of our souls to expose each other. However, we just did not understand each other and she was looking for help in the pack of washing and scrubbing women. She came out with Féfé, a young, beautiful student who spoke French and a little English and wanted to help me. I was infinitely grateful to her, immediately felt connected to her and poured out my heart. I could barely stop talking. Namely that I did not know what to do, where to go and what to put on and take off. Out of sheer ignorance, I even put on my bikini top. She laughed at me and ordered it to take off again. Who was the jammed here?


As my hammam treatment lady somehow disappeared again, Féfé took me into the steam room. I sat down on her mat, she gave me a sponge and showed me how to rub off with it. Because the hammam is about removing dead skin to have beautiful, smooth skin again. Although the sponge looked rather as if I rub my old, old skin on my, but ok. Countless other Moroccan women were sitting in the steamer room, treating themselves and their children full of verve with the sponge. And stared at me. I had the impression that they had never seen a European woman naked. In addition, they probably made fun of my amateur Abrubbeltechnik and my absolute helplessness.

So I treated myself with the sponge, trying to look like the other women and trying to talk to Féfé, my heroine. That was not so easy, because we soon exhausted her English and French vocabulary. Many of the other women asked for me and gave me compliments. But I think that's just because they saw something like me for the first time. When I just did not know where to scrub myself off, my treatment woman came to - and cleared up first: Fresh water buckets, other old sponge, new Seifeschleimbrocken. Then she took the sponge in her hand and started to scrub me off. With a strength that I did not expect, she started by her feet and worked her way to the face, meticulously taking care not to miss a spot. I just did everything she ordered. Angle legs, arms up, put on stomach. Even if the floor was full of rubbed-off foreign skin scales. Even though I did not know where the sponge was before. I just joined in, because I was feeling very much at the mercy of her and had a bad feeling about contradicting her. So at least I got the real hamam experience.

"So hair wash?" Asked Féfé. "Yes, everything you say." So I also got a shampooing with a very unloving, ziependen Kämmversuch in the connection. Now I had not only skin dandruff, but also left a lot of hair. I was looking forward to the massage and hoped to have a shower afterwards. Meanwhile, Féfé and I had loved each other so much that she wanted to massage me. I was happy because I felt that the massage was a friendly symbol. We had reached our verbal borders, but not the symbolic ones. It was not a very good massage, but still the best I ever got. Because with her I got a new girlfriend. Féfé asked me to wait outside, so that we could still exchange Facebook contacts. Unfortunately, there was no shower, so I went out with all my own and other skin dander and got dressed again. To fight the heat of the steamer in me with fresh air, I went to the door to wait for Féfé. I just came out, as my traveling friend Yaniz arrived with our two Berber friends Mohammed and Aisa. I joined the three men in the big truck. We talked, listened to music and smoked cigarettes.

Then Féfé came out of the hammam. In her Moroccan dress and headscarf, she seemed a lot shyer than I had met her before. She saw me in my western clothes, sitting in the truck, talking casually to the men. She just waved me furtively. I wanted to join my new friend to my old friends, but that was not possible. I slowly understood that we can never be friends. In the hammam, both naked, both freed from culturally visible influences, we were just two women. Two same women with the same need to clean themselves. Before the hammam, we had once again dressed our culture and suddenly we were as different as we could be. I saw that she too felt the same way.

Because I knew that she could not come to me and the men, and to show her that all the influences around us did not bother me, I went to her, to the door of the hammam. I spoke to her just as I had done twenty minutes earlier. I touched her arm. But she could not reciprocate. She went into the cash cabin of the hammam, the cashier was apparently a friend of hers. A friend who could be close to her. Now, apart from a whole world, we also had a glass pane with a grid in front of it. I bought a shampoo and a lollipop from the cashier, both of whom I donated to Féfé. Even if she did not want to accept it, she was happy. Then I asked her for a note and wrote her my Facebook name. She also wrote me her.

I stood in front of the car for a moment. Just before we wanted to go, Féfé came to me again and gave me a fresh orange goodbye. I would rather have taken her with me.

When I wanted to write to Féfé on the next WiFi opportunity, I could not find her. Only weeks later, she contacted me from her. I would never have recognized her in this profile.

  1. I believe that behaves a little bit different: Of course, we all have our cultural influences - even in the hammam. In the world before, however, Féfé has to meet certain expectations (as every human being within his social group has to meet expectations). Expectations that a passing guest need not meet. If the guest stayed longer, his expectations would change as well.
    Great report, thanks.

    • Lena Kuhlmann

      Hey Mathilde, thank you for your contribution. You are absolutely right, it is about social expectations that arise just from the cultural fabric. I found the experience so intense that they can be so extremely different in the and before the hammam.

  2. Once again you see how traveling kills - namely prejudices. I'm glad that you were so pleasantly surprised :)

    Thanks for the report :)



    • Lena Kuhlmann

      This was definitely a self-experience. Because I thought I was free of it. But many think that and are probably only a few.
      Thanks for your comment Clemens :)

  3. Ghizlane

    Hello Lena, I find the story of the hammam funny, now I'm surprised that the lady has not enlightened you, the order is: you lubricate the whole body with the black soap, then sit in the warmest room for 10 minutes, flush out the body, then rub with the sponge looks like gloves, after roughing, you have to rinse with water, there is no shower, but a bucket of water and containers are enough, then hair washing and finally the whole body from head to toe Some women still smear their body with henna and ghassoul (earth stones) which are released into containers for 10 min by warm water, allowing this mixture to work on the body for 10 minutes, making the skin very fine, like baby skin.

    In hammam you need more than one hour even hours until you have cleaned all the body parts, in some hammam there are even for every 2 faucets warm and cold, 3 rooms (very warm, warm and cold), middle is always full, many women Take oranges to eat because staying in the hammam can be exhausting.

    The Moroccan women use to their beauties a lot of natural products like HENNA, Ghassoul (stone earth) argan oil against wrinkles and much more.

    I have read both reports of you, I think that's great, have even read 2 times.

    best regards

    • Lena Kuhlmann

      Dear Ghizlane, oooh thank you! I'm happy about that. Just from you as an expert :) There are now peu a peu even more reports.
      The lady probably did not enlighten me because of the communication problem. But now that you explain it, it makes sense. That's the way it was. I fell in love with Argan oil in Morocco anyway. That's good for everything!

      Bye for now! All the best!

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