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    How I Came to Love the Hammam, and Other Tales of Life in the Levant

    I’ve always thought hammams were kind of weird. Getting scrubbed to death by a burly old woman in a hot steamy room with other naked ladies? It’s just not my thing. Recently, a friend described his utter and intense fear of the male attendant at his hammam, who scrubbed his cheeks so vigorously that he nearly drowned in the overflow of bubbles coming out of the sponge and pouring down his face. That, I said, is not for me. But recently I’ve had a change of heart about the hammam. It came after a long and tiring day of driving in Morocco, during which a “scenic detour” had turned into a gorgeous and terrifying drive that involved driving on some of the worst quality roads I have ever seen with a slowly dwindling tank of gas. We finally found gas by way of a gu


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