Monday, April 7, 2008

Relaxed to near death

Thanks to Boegle mentioning the death of a hot-tub spa-type place in her neighborhood, RambunctiousGrl got it into her head that we had to try the local schvitz-place, AKA Banya 5.

We now expect to be going there twice a month.

First off, it's a Russian/Turkish bath. So there's the HOT room. the HOT STEAM room, the C-C-COLD p-p-pool, the (I'll stop doing the funny embellishments now) cold shower, the salt pool, and the hot tub. Which is just a hot tub.

The hot room (parilka) is supposed to be running around 200-210 degrees fahrenheit and low humidity. There was a fella there who kept dragging the poor front-of-house girls back to show them that the humidity was hovering around a constant 50%, which means that actual overheating doesn't happen.

Coulda fooled me.

So you spend about ten minutes in the heat, and then drop into the cold pool. Jump right out, sit for a minute, and then go back into the heat. Your basic sauna, right? Well, not quite.

I had a sauna growing up. Thought it was goofy. Now that I'm an adult, I f**king want one of my own!

However, if you have your own sauna, you won't get to see the contingent of the Russian Mafia having a nice sweat right in front of you. Old guys with big white bellies (with zero self-image issues) lying right on the hot boards of the sauna's top tier, while they whack each other with towels in order to increase the heat, and boost their circulation. Also in evidence were the young bulls, with the complicated tattoos that look like they might have happened in prison, but who knows, maybe I'm jumping to conclusions. All of the traditional guys were wearing funny little felt hats (chapka) which supposedly keep your head from overheating too much.

Russian Smurfs.

Anyway, best way to begin the day once breakfast has been consumed, and I imagine if one has a nasty hangover it works really well. Specially if you get that shot of vodka in your system before you go to the baths.

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