So, I’m walking around completely naked outside in a courtyard… Actually it is better to start at the beginning. I decided to bite the bullet and go to a sauna, in Germany, finally. I was getting more into the idea of a quasi-detoxing/relaxing week after the initial days of a friends birthday celebrations. I have been getting more into this water drinking and general exercise this week, with running, swimming and a few hours of table tennis.
So I went to the sauna and was quite surprised to find that initially it looked a bit like a car park.
However, it was pretty decent inside. The changing room (umkleidung) was the same one for both genders; a slight surprise, but I got on with it. I felt a little like an amateur nudist. I had been earlier struck by their speisekarte (food menu) which I had viewed online (www.sauna-badenhaus.de). It appeared to be almost half alcohol. I did not wish to get involved in that.
Now a sauna is a sauna is a sauna, subtle differences are the rules about wearing flip flops in many areas (including when showering). A less subtle one is 100% nakedness. This means that in the sauna you really need to put a towel down when you sit or place your feet, or penis, anywhere. The first one I went in was about 90 degrees, a Finnish sauna. Just my self and a naked guy in his sixties. The conversation was … non existent. The eye contact was … also non existent. I stayed there until I was close to melting and then via a quick and awkward shower I jumped enthusiastically, and naively into the what I shall dub the ‘ice pool’.
Now this was a shock to the system. I thought that it would get better, the temperature less brutal, less vicious. This did not happen. The room started to spin backwards like it was rolling backwards. I couldn’t focus on anything without it moving. I imagined pressure on my brain. I could only make it stop by looking downwards. I thought that this was not the way that I wanted to go in life so I tried to leave holding onto the rails. It was a challenge to do this without collapsing, I managed it just. You are probably not supposed to go so quickly from 90 degrees to whatever temperature the ‘ice pool’ is. I think I have experienced why.
I then went to the chill out area and one of the guys who worked there explained that they had a court yard outside and that if I wanted I was free to just have a walk around there - absolutely naked. This is when it felt a little more weird. Particularly as it was raining. His original suggestion that no one could see us outside seemed a little, unlikely, given that I could see their neighbours garden.
Back inside I tried the kraut sauna which was about 80 degrees. This felt a little strange because there were a couple in there who I’m pretty sure were touching each other. I’m not exactly sure what was happening as being British I thought it rather improper to look. But from the noises she was making it did not sound like they needed a hand.
It had absolutely nothing to do with this which I saw in central Berlin, classy Berlin, really classy , , .