The Scottish Saltire

The Scottish Saltire

Friday, January 9, 2009

A (eucalyptus scented) Blast From The Past

One of the many nice things about being back in Germany is that it allows me to reach back and touch a few things that have, for so long, been only memories.
The first time I was here, Nena introduced me to the Miesenbacher Sauna, which was just up the street from where we lived as neighbors. It was a cozy little neighborhoody place run by a very nice couple named Peter and Doris Clemens. In addition to the sauna with lockers and showers there was a steam room, a pool, sunbeds, a cozy little breakroom with things to eat and drink, massage, a private patio and even a quiet room where you could just curl up and nap. Everything was done in the buff, except the breakroom and napping. Nena and I became once a week regulars at our neighborhood sauna (I don't think we ever saw any other Americans there). It was so relaxing and especially wonderful on cold winter evenings. Peter and Doris were very friendly and knew all the regulars by name. Over the years Nena and I have lamented the loss of our 'sauna evenings'.

Yesterday Nikki and I packed our towels and shower shoes and hopped on the train for another little excursion down memory lane. She had heard about the sauna for so many years as a kid and was looking forward to actually experiencing it for herself. I wondered if it would be the same and if Peter or Doris would remember Nena and me from 20 years ago.

It was the same and Peter did remember us! He said he recognised my voice first and then commented that I didn't wear glasses back then (as I do now). He remembered "Nena's pretty brown eyes". I guess when you work around a bunch of naked people every day you learn to concentrate on faces. I introduced Nikki and we talked with Peter for a bit more before I showed her around. Then it was time to get naked and just relax. We spent about 5 hours there. We got massages. We went from the hot sauna to the back yard (in the snow!), back to the sauna, to the cold water bath, to the breakroom, to the foot soaking chairs, to the sunbeds, back to the breakroom... We chatted with the other ladies in the sauna and in the breakroom. We talked with Peter a lot throughout the evening, too. It was like I'd only been gone a few months instead of 15 years. Sadly, the ping pong table is gone from the patio (I remember a few wicked games of naked ping pong with Nena) but so much is just like it was before. Going to the sauna has always been one of my fondest memories of day to day life in Germany and it was wonderful to be able to bring that memory to life again. The only thing missing was Nena.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Aww, that sounds sooo nice... especially when it's cold and gray out like it is now. And so nice to get a blast from the past and be remembered immediately after all those years :)