A Last Minute Turkish Bath

I have always wondered how an airport actually works. With different flights coming in and out every single minute, there is great possibility for error. However, there has to be a certain amount of reliability and accuracy in order for an airport to be functional.  International flights in particular are only somewhat predictable, as they depend upon many worldly factors to succeed and get everyone where they want to go. With thousands of planes filtering in and out of the airport every second of the day, there is never a certain point in time where we can be confident of our traveling plans.

It was just a couple of summers ago that I was waiting patiently to board my flight, excited to venture to my destination: Rwanda, Africa. Just as we had all boarded the plane, the captain abruptly took the microphone from the flight attendant’s hands. She had just been explaining the emergency procedures, but the captain clearly had something more urgent and important. He immediately notified the passengers that the flight must be cancelled, and that we could all be flown out the following morning from Istanbul. I was confused and frustrated at first, but I realized I had just gotten the opportunity to explore Istanbul for 1 more day

Excited for the day ahead, my mom and I rushed out of the airport with anticipation of what  our next move was going to be. We quickly went back to our town house overlooking the beautiful ocean of Istanbul, with an amazing view of the Hagia Sophia to our right, with the continent of Asia just to our left. Our excitement for this sudden change of plans was unmeasurable — Istanbul is one of the most electrifying and interesting old cities of our old world. Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 2.43.29 PM

Before my mom and I ventured off into the city, we looked at a brochure we found at the Grand Bazaar the previous day, hoping for some idea or inspiration on our next move. One particular picture caught my attention: Turkish Bath.

Now, we don’t have Turkish Baths where I’m from in the Bay Area, so we decided to take full advantage and immerse ourselves into the Turkish culture. We arrived to Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami, the mosque in which the turkish bath was, after a hectic train ride across the city. I will never forget walking into the mosque: The marble
floors and walls were breathtaking, along with the giant dome meticulously designed hundreds of years prior.Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 2.10.05 PM

We slipped into the bathrobes provided, and were escorted into the bathing room. The women encouraged us to undress, as it is a tradition of Turkish baths to be completely nude. Of course I was a little uncomfortable at first, but the women who worked there made me feel very comfortable. Turkish Baths are traditionally supposed to get rid of all the toxins and dead skin on the outermost layer of your body, and thats exactly what they did.

Going to the Turkish Bath was one of the most rewarding and memorable things I’ve ever done in my entire life. It made the flight the next morning to Rwanda, Africa, that much more enjoyable.

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