Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bath time

Bathing is one of my favorite daily rituals.  Most days Mayumi and I take a bath together before we get ready for bed, and it is one of those activities that helps us to unwind, relax, and bond.  Who doesn't love a long, hot bath at the end of the day?  When we were in Japan one of our favorite outings was to go to the public bath house where one can enjoy the abundant hot springs and the communal act of bathing together.  Sound strange?  Maybe to a westerner, but in Japan and other countries around the world, not only is it normal, but it is an integral part of many familial and friendly relationships.  You get nekkid with the people you love!

I recently discovered an Asian-style bath house just outside the city.  It is called Spa World and Mayumi and I went there last night.  We stripped down in the locker room with dozens of other women and headed to the shower stalls to sudsy up.  We washed each other's hair and got ourselves squeaky clean before heading into the various hot tubs.  I was worried because most of the tubs were too hot for children, but they had one little tub specifically for kids that was kept at about 79 degrees.  Mayumi loved it.  She made friends with a five year-old Korean girl and they just talked and splashed around for about an hour while I enjoyed the jet massage and hot tub. 

Besides loving the hydro-therapy, I loved that Mayumi was being exposed to women's bodies of every size, shape, age and color as if it were the most natural thing in the world (because it is!).  Some of my American friends have worried that they would feel to self-conscious in such a setting, but for me it is the complete opposite; I feel so comfortable and un-concerned about my body.  I am reminded of what "normal" is and that those unattainable bodies that we are bombarded with on TV, magazines, and other media are not necessarily what we should be striving for as women.  The public bath house is such a beautiful, peaceful place and I was so happy to share the experience with my daughter.

After our bath we got dressed and enjoyed dinner in the spa's restaurant.  Once we had leisurely eaten, we headed back to the bath for round 2.  We left around 8pm and Mayumi immediately fell asleep on the ride home.  It was the perfect way to spend an evening.  I kind of want to do this more often, so... if you're ever in the area and want to join us, we'd love an excuse to go back!


Ye Stewart Clan said...

It was relaxing just reading about it!

MamaD said...

I want to do this with you! Now I am definitely coming out to DC to visit.

ginger said...

Let's go when we're back in town.

{jaclyn} said...

this is wonderful and such a healthy outlook. when i was in japan i was 12 and would not let my guard down enough to use the bath house. hopefully i will be able to have a chance to be in such an environment again someday.