May 30, 2008

speaking of naked..

so i was lurking at jonniker's the other day (as i am wont to do) and she directed us to her guest posting at she likes purple, but also suggested we read SLP's naked post for a good laugh.

which... oh my. reminded me of a naked experience of my own.

so when i lived in france my junior year of college, i was super broke and didn't get to travel around a lot like all my other friends. when i got my tax refund near the end of the year, i decided to blow the whole thing on a trip. and not just any trip: someplace SUPER COOL where i wouldn't normally get to go. i decided on morocco, since
a) they speak french there as a secondary language to arabic, which i do not speak, and
b) africa!! neato!!! and
c) it's 823623 times easier to get there from france than from the states, so this seemed like a good time to pop my africa cherry.
so! i rounded up a gal friend and a guy friend and we booked our tickets.

we'd heard that going to the bath houses was one of those things you just HAVE to do when you're in morocco; that most westerners stick to the touristy stuff, but if you wanted to get the REAL experience, you should go to a bath house, they're awesome and relaxing and indulgent, etc etc etc. so i did some research and found one in... hmm, marakesh, most likely. the guidebook gave a street name and an address. off we went.

we bumbled around the maze of alleyways ("street names" and "house numbers" apparently only existing in guidebooks, and not actually visible anywhere in person) until we found the corner i was fairly certain we wanted to be on. as we stood there peering up and down the alleyway, looking for a sign, or a picture of water, or ANY INDICATION AT ALL that a bathhouse might be nearby, we were accosted by a large man speaking welcomingly in arabic, trying to usher us into a doorway. after a 5-minute exchange of charades, we finally came to the (not entirely confident) conclusion that he was the Official Bath House Sidewalk Accoster and that the completely unmarked wooden door behind us was the bath house. maybe. or else we were going to get beaten and robbed inside. we shrugged and walked in anyway- into 2 separate doors, of course; one bath house for women, and one for men.

once inside, my friend E. and i found ourselves in an empty room with a wooden bench and some cubbies. a large, squat arab woman came in and mimed that we should take off our clothes and put them in a cubby. so we stripped down to our bras and underwear, then stood around awkwardly until the woman came back. she shook her head vehemently, mimed that we had to take ALL our clothes off, and wandered away again. soo... we took off our underwear, and then... stood there again. buck naked.

the squat arab woman came back, this time stripped down to just (um, very well-worn) undies herself, carrying 2 plastic buckets of water. she motioned us to follow her, so we padded back into the next room, which consisted of a concrete floor and tiled walls, with spigots about a foot and a half up the wall in a few places. she motioned us to sit down near one of the spigots as a second arab woman - also clad exclusively in cotton undies - materialized, and the two of them got to work scrubbing down E. and i with sponges as we sat awkwardly on the concrete floor.

to recap: E. and i - who had not, at this juncture in our relationship, ever had reason or opportunity to hang around each other in the nude - were now both COMPLETELY NAKED, sitting side by side on a concrete floor, having buckets of water poured on us by two middle aged, squat, mostly-naked moroccan women. it was.. um.. a new experience.

so... i keep describing E.'s moroccan in particular as "squat." this is because she was short - probably 5'1", on a good day - but, um, not exactly a little slip of a thing. to be fair, i can't imagine you can carry around boobs that size without being forced to fill out your hips and stomach, because otherwise i don't think she'd be able to stand without toppling over.

OH MY SWEET JESUS, i had never seen boobs this size before. each one was about twice the size of my head. and they were just.. um.. hanging around. unfettered. as she went about her business of washing my naked friend. and i swear i am not exaggerating this next part, but she apparently had an itch on her ribcage at one point, so she paused, lifted up her boob to rest it on her shoulder, scratched underneath, then replaced the boob.


so, uh, i don't even know where to go with this post now. i don't know how to end a story that deals entirely with gargantuan boobs and hanging out naked on concrete floors (with friends!). also: i suspect i will now have all sorts of keyword searches leading here that i am not going to like.


  1. LOL! On her shoulder? That is crazy!

    So do you laugh about it all now? I'd say you definitely didn't have a "typical" tourist experience! ;)

  2. Hi, you owe me a new computer because I just killed mine by spitting water all over it while laughing. OMG ON HER SHOULDER. CAN'T DEAL, CAN'T DEAL.

  3. Oh my dear god, this is the best travel story ever. ON HER SHOULDER. I can't even get mine a tenth of the way there!

    By the way, how was Morocco? I've always wanted to go there.

  4. Aaaa! That sounds like one of my worst nightmares. Nudity = noooo!

    Was that the whole bath or did you then get into a jacuzzi type thing or something?

  5. and...NO BATH HOUSE for me!


    Do your boobs hang low
    Do they swing to and fro

  6. Wow ... a 12 year old boy's dream ... On her shoulder huh ...?

    I can't stop laughing.

    Reminds me of that line from Airplane! "So Billy, you ever been to a Turkish bath?"


  7. Oh my God, that is hilarious! Rested it on her shoulder! Yeah, I'm with Shauna, mine won't get even a fraction of the way there. That is great.

  8. Oh good God! Rested it on her shoulder?! Geez.

  9. I would have left after realizing I had to strip completely. Or maybe after SHE stripped almost completely.

    On her shoulder? Are you sure she wasn't carrying a flesh colored purse or something? Because I'm pretty sure mine can't be rested anywhere other than where they are right now.

  10. OH MAH HOLY HELL, this post had me cracking up!

    And I totally know what you're talking about re: not knowing how to end awkward posts. I mean, where are you supposed to go after an over-the-shoulder-boudler-holder?

  11. This reminds me of going to the Hamams in Turkey where the 'bathers' are also squatty women. I had no idea I could have that much exfoliated from my body! In my case, the woman started scrubbing my back, and when she was done smacked me on the butt and said, "turn." I was so freaked out, I didn't know what else to do, so I just rolled over, and let her finish. :p

  12. HAHAHAHA! alice that is a fantastic travel story!!!

    i don't think i have ever been COMPLETELY naked with one of my girl friends. kudos to you!

    also, i guess that's why they call bras over the shoulder boulder holders.

  13. I bet she has a back ache.

    Alice, this was an awesome post. Only way it could be better is if it was a video on you tube, hehe



  15. Erm...hi. I'm new to your blog and found it through the keyword search "pop my african cherry".

    Frankly, this isn't at all what I expected...

  16. First of all, let me say that Joe is quite forthcoming with how he got here. Honesty like that... well, it's just rare.

    Secondly, this story was both horrifying AND hysterically funny, and I do want to know how things ended. Also how did you and your friend ever again look at each other without dying laughing? Because I would have NEVER been able to get this experience out of my head. And what about your poor guy friend, who was in there all alone? What was his reaction to the experience?

  17. Sorry, I had to stop and go pee, I was laughing so hard!
    "Do your boobs hang low
    do they wobble to and fro
    Can you tie 'em in a knot?
    Can you tie 'em in a bow?
    Do you throw 'em o'er your shoulder..."

    Hard to imagine, but I will believe you! It would be tough to get that imagine out of one's head. Ever.

    Ummmm...naked with my friends? I think it would take a whole lotta booze, and even then...the whole experience would be uncomfortably weird. But it sure makes a great story!

  18. Okay, see, this is why when I travel one day? as I probably will? I plan to go with a GUIDE, the kind who travels in a MINIBUS. Maybe that's a lame way to travel, but betcha I don't end up naked on concrete getting scrubbed by a stranger.

  19. This story makes me glad I have B-cups.

  20. On her shoulder? I can't even imagine that. Really.

    Oh, but I want to travel to Morocco so badly to travel there. In my mind it is NEXT. My wallet disagrees.

  21. Hilarious! Totally Hilarious. So, was that your Bath??

  22. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!

    You know, I'm middle eastern, but yet I had no clue that when you go to a bath house you get bathed by naked women! I always thought they were pretty much saunas where you sat around in steamy rooms with towels covering key areas of your body. I have no idea how you two managed to get naked in front of each other and in front of those women--I can't even stand taking my shirt and bra off in front of nurses in the hospital!

  23. I would have been freaking out. Congrats on making it through that.