I awoke at 5:00 this morning. This might have something to do with the fact that I fell asleep around 9 pm last night. I went to the hammam with two friends and the treatment evidently wiped me out!
I don’t care for the public hammams. I’ve tried several of them. I’ve gone to 4 or 5 different hammams in Fes and one in Chefchouen. I didn’t really like any of them although it is an experience one shouldn’t miss. The reason I don’t like the public hammans is probably because I am a rather private person and have always been one to shy away from crowded places. But the hammam I prefer to go to now is really posh compared to the public baths and I always enjoy my time there. My attendant gave me a hard scrub, taking away one or two layers of skin that left my body red and smooth. We purchased the spa package that also included a clay-like body mask of rose water and who-knows-what other substances. It felt great and I could have stayed there all afternoon, sleeping in the ‘relaxation room’ afterwards.
Right now the first call to prayer is underway. I love the early morning call to prayer. Outside the garbage collectors are sweeping the streets clean of all the debris from yesterday. This time of the day Fes is clean, quiet and spirit-filled. I am drinking coffee at the kitchen counter and planning the belly dance lesson I will give at 1:00 this afternoon. The fee I collect for the lessons will reimburse me for yesterday’s hammam.
I am on holiday right now and like every other holiday; I never seem to get out of town for the break. I seem to need the time to regenerate from the previous semester and all the various jobs I do in-between. Or my money is earmarked for something else and I can’t afford to travel. These days, I have some longer term plans for my money.
I’ve stopped spending money on the house. I still need to plaster and paint the rooms above the ground floor (that’s 7 rooms plus the stairwell), I still need to install some electricity on the upper floor and purchase a washer and dryer. I need a sink in my water closet, plumbing for the washer and shelving in the kitchen and closet. Oh yeah, I also need two more windows made and dozens of light fixtures. I estimate another 15,000 dirham will finish this place nicely. It’s not a lot of money by U.S. standards, but it will take me months and months to accumulate the money on my income. But that’s okay. The house is eminently habitable now and it can wait.