“Take off all your clothes, even your underwear” the friendly massage therapist says while handing me a white bathrobe, a pair of white slippers and two small brown towels. One towel for the sauna and the other for drying off after the sauna. I didn’t fully understand what to expect inside a sauna. Sure enough I had seen brief movie scenes of sweaty people in a steam room but nothing quite captures the feeling of being in one.
A rush of steam pushed me back the minute I opened the door to the sauna and I was overwhelmed by the sensation of stepping into a ball of hot dense white cloud. Massive puffs of white steam leapt up at rapid succession from a perforated floor tile at the centre of the room, intensifying the heat. I sat furthest away from this tsunami of steam balls, almost clutching onto the door handle for dear life, all the while thankful that my session was only 20mins.
I was later told that according to the statistical records of this Spa, certain demographics love to stay on longer and oftentimes, have to be pulled out after an hour to prevent health complications. I wonder why? (The love, obviously, not the pulling out). In my case, I was gasping for air after 5mins and had to take a breather next door where I gulped down a tall glass of lemon flavoured ice cold water before venturing back in. By the time my session was up I was as soggy as melted ice cream. Will I go back there again? I did feel refreshed later but, eish, the jury is still out on this one.