Bali. The island of the Gods.A feast of colours, culture, beauty and devout faith. With such beauty all around such as the Jatiluwih rice terraces, it’s no wonder Bali boasts such a rich tradition of beauty and spa rituals whose names alone evoke the most exotic and luscious of pampering experiences: boreh, lurlur, temu-temu, avocado cream bath, spice bath – I could just picture myself in one of Ubud’s secret gardens being scrubbed and massaged with rare oils and exotic spices while watching traditional Bali dance.
If you caught a glimpse of me in the flesh right now, you possibly wouldn’t believe that I am one of those nutcases who slather biodegradable sunscreen on in the dead of the Canadian winter when there’s a snowstorm outside. Because, yes, right now I am very, very tan, but this was a long, unavoidable and unintentional process. I am very aware that this is contributing to premature skin ageing, but I am taking most precautions (and I say ‘most’ because, unlike Vietnamese women, I am not willing to wear long jeans, socks, gloves, a hoodie, face mask and hat when it’s 40 degrees Celsius outside) and this is one of the few evils I am temporarily ok to deal with for the sake of travelling.
I read so many Turkish hammam horror stories online from other travel bloggers that my curiosity got sufficiently piqued: I just had to volunteer myself on the naked altar of the body scrub sacrifice for the greater good of this blog (I know, tough…) – a rather painful and awkward experience by many if not all accounts. Tales of buck-naked merciless scrubs in crowded rooms, with nude masseuses getting to second base with prude North Americans had me sort of worried as I stepped inside Kiliç Ali Paşa Hamamiin Istanbul, not really knowing if the tales were true. Thankfully, I quickly learned that the Turkish hammam experience can be a blissful, relaxing and absolutely beautiful one.
A few weeks ago, in the town of Mapusa, Northern Goa, India, a man called Ramakrishna stared right through my soul before making me a small bottle of perfume.
This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but here’s something a little different for ya. I’m planning on doing a “what’s in my camera bag” and “what’s in my suitcase” at a later time, so stay tuned if that’s what you’re into.