I believe that, in general, we should always be open to new experiences. That we should with an open mind put ourselves in situations we have never been in before. And should we find ourselves surprised at what we just got ourselves into, the most adventurous possible attitude is the appropriate response.
With that it mind… there I had, once again, walked straight into a situation that was not quite what I had expected. Lying butt-naked in a random ‘attic bathroom’ in Marrakech, an unknown woman was washing my body. First with soap and hot water, then scrubbing layer after layer of dead skin and filth straight of my body. It’s a miracle I have any skin left… The recent desert adventure had left my skin dry and dirty and this woman saw it as her mission to remove as much of my body coat, as possible.
As my expectation had been that of a sauna experience, I was forced to quickly adjust myself to a situation that I had not experienced since early childhood. Closest encounters would be with doctors where appropriate behaviour is active avoidance of eye contact, or with gentlemen-friends where the opposite behaviour is the more appropriate. At a loss at which behaviour to apply when a complete stranger washes areas usually clad in a bikini, I attempted a bit of a causal cosmopolitan combination. I briefly considered striking up a conversation. However, not only did she not seem to speak any English and, equally useless, my only Arabic words are ‘shokran’ and ‘habibi’. Saying ‘thank you, darling’ to the stranger dutifully scrubbing your butt, would most likely enhance any weirdness of the situation rather than decrease it…
When I finally was getting into it, relaxing not out of want, but out of real presence, the woman finished with me and handed me over to another one who massaged the sore skin into new life. Not only legs, shoulders and back, but butt, chest and breast. It was a bit weird having someone touch you in this way, without any sexual tone being involved.
First times for everything.