Saturday, January 28, 2006

Friday Night at the Sauna

Fred and I trekked out to Haarlem last night to meet his brother and brother-in-law. We usually go on Wednesday night, but because of my new schedule, I can't go. So they changed it to Friday this month. Trouble was, they didn't show up. So it was just the two of us, which was fine.

There were also lots and lots of women. Groups of older women, women in their forties and three very annoying young women of about 21 or so. They were laughing and talking really loudly the whole time. It's the younger generation of Dutch women that really annoy me. Not all of them, but there is a certain way that these young girls have that is not very...welcoming. They were here and there walking around with nothing on but a smile - talking up too much space. Anyway, I've seen about enough twenty-one-year-old girl flesh as I need for a while.

People were crowded in the dry heat room like it was the place to be. The women sitting beside me were conspiring with the men seated behind me to make the room even hotter by opening a drawer to the oven. At some point a clothed woman opened the door and offered everyone a little hors d'oevre, cheese or sausage. This place is so crazy.

The Turkish, or steam, room had a little too much menthol in it. Usually a steam room has a little menthol, just to open the passages and give the room a smell other than sweat and steam. After a few minutes in that room, my whole body was tingling. Could feel it everywhere, even in my throat. Later, sitting at the bar, having a juice, I could still feel it.

Because it is so icey cold out, I decided to take a pass on most of the cold options (a trip to the roof, buckets of ice water, the cold shower), but I did take a plunge in the cold water tub, which was pretty alarming. It's so cold that it's painful. It's really just "jump in, move around and get out." It's that after-hot room thing that you do. That's why it seemed so strange when I looked at the tub at one point and there was a guy standing in the pool. It's about five feet deep and he was stark naked (as if trunks would have helped?) just standing in the pool. I thought, I hope someone is watching him.

It was a nice evening something I would have never done (on a Friday night) unless we were supposed to meet Ton and Matthy there. I like having the sauna available. And the whole naked thing is kind of cool, too.

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