Then our way immediately led us to a bathhouse, where a platform on the wall was occupied by familiar visitors. I couldn’t suppress a laugh. They sat with their feet in a bucket of water, not exactly my idea of a bathhouse. A faucet was opened and water flowed across the floor into the central room. I have tried from my companions, nothing unusual. My feet were now dangling in the seeping water. The walls and floors were covered with bright mosaics, blue and pink, sea green, a Persian garden full of aesthetics.
Pretty early on, we were asked into another room that looked dark blue. A heaven. The incredibly sophisticated Muslim art on the walls, floors, and stone walls gave the building a certain coolness. A gypsy woman, whose clothes and jewelry seem oriental, whose grip looks somewhat masculine and convincing, asks my Polish friend to lie down on the stone bed, where she is lathered, embalmed with scents from pots and finally rinsed off with a large gush of water.
Strange, an adult woman is washed here like a baby by her mother. Then it was my turn and one by one.
Then we could wrap the towel around us, and our brown-haired companion came to pick us up for the return trip to our clothes.
Strangely enough, she had joined us in the bathhouse, where the water ran, in a bathing suit, but sufficiently bare. Then why so veiled in the reception room?
A ritual in which on and off played a role, made sense?
All in all, an enriching experience in another world full of beauty, secrets and other customs.
Memories of Monastir 2021
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