I started going to In Spa World for a very simple reason- I was stressed out and losing my marbles. Not in a truly crazy way; just in the 'I can't sleep and I need to relax' way. And one night I sw a commercial for the place- it was so cheesy I couldn't believe it. Naturally the kitsch factor made me look it up on the web- and I was hooked.
I went out to Flushing, caught the spa shuttle to College Point (Upper Nowhere to you)- and found paradise. But was I selfish? No! I had to share the experience. So last Sunday, one of my collegues from School and I went to In Spa World.
Deborah lives in New Jersey, and she had to take the PATH train over to Mnahattan. It was a pain in the bum. We were supposed to go on Friday but she had a meeting, so Sunday was the best day- I decided to do it even though I knew I had to get some sleep before going to work that evening. Unfoortunately her train was late, so as I waited, I became one stressed-out little kitten, and so did she. Nevertheless we both calmed down once she got off the train, anf off we were to the subway.
Deborah had probably thought my tales of spa adventure were insane, but she doesn't think so now. Once she hit the hot tubs, I thought she was going to grow a fish's tail and turn into a mermaid. The water blissed her out. Of course, since we are both anthropologists, we couldn't just enjoy the experience- we had to analyze everything (or at least I did, since I'm the culturalist and she's the archaeologist- she probably would have preferred digging the place up or looking at the heating system). While I peppered her with questions about her observations, she wondered aloud if she could get the School to sponsor a trip there, so her students could get an idea of what Roman spas were like. In a lot of ways, In Spa World is like a Roman spa; people go there and eat, talk, relax, and soak, and get massages and salt scrubs. Although the place is missing the prostitution, hair-dressing and in-house entertainment that would make it a real Roman spa, it does have a cold pool that's much like the frigidarium of old.
By the time Deborah and I had finished having a bite to eat, soaking upstairs in the out door pool, and generally getting that slightly drunk feeling that comes after spending several hours in saunas and hot water, Deborah declared herself to have a girl-crush on me and we were BFFs. We are now trying to figure out how we should write a grant proposal for studying numerous spas and baths, and determining how they not only reflect and change the cultural concepts of users, but how they act as extensions of the old Roman bath idea, in which people became equal by all being naked with each other. Of course, in order to conduct the study, we might have to go to spas and baths all over the world- it could take quite a while to complete. If anyone has any ideas on how we can make this into a reality (it's all in the name of science), please feel free to drop me a line.