Destination: Some Place Else

…to get away for if only a moment

10. A bathtub as a holiday

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So many moments in films,
Where a bare breasted woman
Sits in bathtub having an epiphany
Moment. This is it for her,
Right now. Not epiphany,
But realisation that there
Needs to be more
Bare breasted time in bathtubs-
To have time to have any
Realisation or epiphanies at all.
It could also be in the park on
A walk. Sitting on a tram listening
To music instead of driving to
Work. Running, dancing, being
Still. Just give yourself time
To be my friend.

8.45pm 22/1/14

Ok right now, I am in Lima, Peru- a great holiday destination. But for 30 minutes I could have been in Switzerland, the Maldives, or my own backyard because I just had a bath. Have I gone loco? Had too many pisco sours that made me confuse the awesomeness of a real holiday with a hot, bubbly sensation? Or am I just talking about something we know feels good, but just don’t do enough of.

Maybe this will be a boring blog, but I felt compelled to write. Since not having a bath in my own home, I haven’t had one in over a year and just forgot how damn good they make you feel. I mean there is just someone about stepping into hot water and letting the day slide away. Any tension, any stress seems to slide off you, down the drain and into abyss. Yes I did set the scene as if romancing myself. Bon Iver check, mojito check, dim lighting check, close eyes, lay back, unwind……and ok a fancy hotel bathroom did help, but your regular, homely one works just fine too.

There is a good reason why the act of bathing has been such an important part of many cultures. Yes to cleanse the body, but also for religious and therapeutic purposes. I am no stranger to some of these practices though it has been with slight embarrassment on occasion. My first experience with overseas cultural bathing, was awkward to say the least but on reflection I did see the beauty in it.

So a friend went to Turkey and told me about these awesome bathing houses that I just had to go to- ‘yes you go in naked but so is everyone’. Ok I can do that, sure. So as I travelled onto Turkey later that year on my own, I thought why not give it a go. I hesitantly stepped out of my clothes, wrapped myself up in a towel and got ready. The first bit was strange to say the least. As a young boy watched me have a shower- I decided I didn’t want to take my towel off (obviously as I was nude) so he must’ve thought I was mental. Then I was taken to a sauna where I thought I was going to die of dehydration as no one came to get me. So all alone, I got out after 45 mins all wrinkly like your favourite nanna and discovered to my horror, that all the other women were laying about with their bathers on. Crap…… Ok the towel on is still seeming pretty awesome right now, maybe I’ll just move to the next room. But now the tricky bit was the body wash/scrub and massage. All I say is a) I did some pretty awesome towel manoeuvres to cover my lady part b) that day I had two men helping c) it was possibly a longer than usual massage d) I was very clean after.

So that was maybe not the best example of beautiful bathing, but hey you have to share your funny stories right? The nicer experience was in Japan. Those dudes have it all worked out. Hard day at work, why not strip down, lather your body up and wash it all away in a beautiful hot spring or onsen. Yes, it can be a little overwhelming at first to get nude with either a room full of strangers or your good mates, but after a while it is actually more liberating than embarrassing. Any tension quite literally slids down the mountain and before you know it you forget that you’re starkers.

I remember a good friend of mine bought me a present to the Melbourne baths a few years back. It was like stepping back into time. Edith Piaf was playing, rosemary sprigs floated in the water and as I undressed and sat in the tub, I was transported to another place. The scent of the water conjured up memories, then the heat would clear my mind. Now you might not have a ticket to Turkey or Japan or even a tub in Lima ready, but a bath can be just as good as a quick holiday. So either check out any of the local bath houses in your area or use your own or a mates, fill up, step in and float away.

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