Let’s get naked…
So, after Japan I’m pretty used to taking all my clothes off and bathing with many other people. I never really minded it in Japan, to me a body is a body and there’s not so much you can do about yours, so just get on with it and enjoy the baths. BUT it was definitely weird having dozens of Japanese ladies staring at me and watching my every move. Once a lady even came up to me and started scrubbing my back for me… I’d like to think I’m pretty chilled, but that definitely made me tense…
Being brought up half-German and half-English, I wonder if this makes me less bothered about getting my kit off in public. I had a lot of English lady friends who came to Japan and were too mortified to try the onsen (hot springs). It think that’s a shame, but it’s their choice. So now it’s time I told you about getting naked in Germany.
We live next to some pretty amazing lakes and in the summer people swim to cool off from the hot temperatures. As these are just lakes in the middle of a forest there are no changing rooms and people just whip off their clothing and put on their swimmies. I have seen a few bottoms and wobbly bits, but I divert my eyes quickly and forget what I just saw.
Unfortunately, this is not always so easy. Our recent trip to Bad Wilsnack Spa was wonderful, but I’m not so keen on seeing naked people floating around in the salt pools. There was an extra charge for the sauna, but it was all bathing-suits off, so I passed on the experience as I’m still having flashbacks from the Mairitius Therme in Cologne.
It was an interesting group of ladies, we all met in Japan, had bathed naked together many times before and just wanted to relax and be pampered for a bit. It feels like I should start with a joke line here:
A German, A Swede, An English lady and a Japanese woman go to a German Spa…
Basically OMG! We wandered out of the ladies changing rooms and out of the shower. That’s when we saw them: naked men everywhere!! There were a load of naked old men lying on sunchairs that conveniently faced the exit of the showers – catching glimpses of the ladies stepping out into the spa area. The jacuzzi was full to the brim with bit and bobs jiggling around alongside the bubbles. The sauna… OMG the sauna… I still feel slightly traumatised by the experience.
It had sounded so amazing: citrus-scented sauna experience at 15:30. I was excited – I grabbed my Japanese friend and the moment we stepped in we realised it was too late to step out. Those few people who had bothered to bring a towel were sitting on it. Everyone was sitting around, legs spread, enjoying the heat and the scents of lemons and oranges. I sat in the furthest corner, hugging my towel around me with my eyes closed. It really wasn’t relaxing or pleasant and I’m sure I was sweating more from the stress or possibly seeing an old man’s bits than the steam. I’m pretty sure I ran outta there faster than I have ever run before.
What I found most amusing was our little group: the German just wandered around naturally without a towel, ignoring everyone around her. The Swede enjoyed the nakedness and made fun of me (haha). The Japanese lady was mortified and hid inside her towel at all times, shocked into silence. And me… well, I hid as best I could in my towel. I don’t need to see all those bits on show – that’s why clothes were invented!! – and they don’t need to see my bits either.
So now you know, if you want to see some nakedness, try a German spa. If you are not overly comfortable with naked skin on show, then do a bit of research – most spas offer one area for bathing suits and another without. But we are all just skin underneath it all and the spas here really are wonderful