Central Asian Polar Plunge

It’s a full house:
4 adults
4 teens (3 boys)
2 children
International overnight guests

AND:
the water at home sporadically goes out
it’s in the 90s
there’s not much air conditioning
a banya is supposed to be healthy (I read a book)
it was on my ‘To Do’ list

SO:
After we went to the the Children’s Home, Von Trapp style, we wanted relief and the banya was priced right: $6/hour for an all-inclusive private banya with:
a changing room,
a squatty potty,
an eating room (I thought the table was for massages),
a shower,
a sauna,
an ice-cold-freeze-your-buns-off-pool.
The locals usually go in the buff, but our modest group of mixed genders and ages would not, could not go in the buff.   We tried out the various rooms (except the squatty), then the teens devised a contest: “Who Can Stay In The Ice-Cold-Pool The Longest.”  The book touted that it was healthy to stay in the icy water as long as possible–at least five minutes.  My record was 15 seconds, so I politley declined their invitation.  I had been lounging peacefully in the sauna for quite awhile when I heard from the polar room, “Your lips are turning blue…I don’t know if this is a good idea…I can’t turn my head; I think my muscles are frozen.”  The thought of  rising from my repose to intervene crossed my mind twice (actually three times) when cooler, younger heads prevailed and joined me in the warmth.

 I went to Blarney Stone lengths to get the pictures –dolphins on the walls, delft in the pool. 

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