Actual image of their 1001 nights sauna
1001 nights sauna Thermen Berendonck

Knee jerk

April 4th, a day in my week of vacation. I had decided to go to a spa nearby. It's a lovely place. Clean, great amenities, wonderful saunas, massage options, good food, and all the other trimmings you'd expect from such a place.

Flower Sauna
The top image shows their "1001 nights sauna". On the right, you see the floor of the "Flower sauna".

There are many more saunas, steambaths, swimming pools, bubble baths (inside and outside), and the list goes on.

It's amazing (and not surprising) they won awards for best sauna for several years.

Sidenote here: this spa has "bathing suit days", which I avoid at any cost. I go there also to be clothes free and relaxed. Keep this in mind while you read on.

This, however, does not jerk any knees. When it happened, it wasn't even an actual knee.

Shocked woman, dressed.
The jerk happened a short while after a lady came out of one of the Turkish baths, commenting that it was awfully hot in there. Yes, it is. Those baths are known for that. I'd just been in there for a while.

I'd noticed that lady a few times already, and I had a strong recollection that I'd seen her before, in a totally different setting. That was confirmed when, suddenly, she grabbed a towel, covered her nude body with that, and said: "I know you! You worked for <company>!"

I said: "Yes, I thought I recognised you from there as well."

You may have discovered the knee jerk by now. In fact, it was a towel jerk, but that sounds a bit weird.

She looked very worried and I asked her why. Still holding the towel as some kind of magic carpet between us, she said she loved coming to this sauna because none of her coworkers came here. "And now I run into you!"

People in a sauna
Ehm. It can happen. I live near this spa. She doesn't - in fact, she has to drive 40 miles / 60 kilometers to get there. She sees loads of naked people there, but encountering one who knows her made her anxious, hence the towel jerk (still sounds weird, but it's getting better).

I assured her that her 'secret' - if it was a secret at all - was safe with me, because I quit the job at <company> 4.5 years ago. I still do some work for them, but that shouldn't take away her joy of the sauna visit.

We talked for a while longer (towel was still in place; for some reason she couldn't relax or let go of it) and I decided to simply wish her a nice day. After that I walked off.

I hope she gets over this soon. Not the fact that she ran into me in particular. But over the fear that someone might recognise her in such a wonderful place. After all, if someone else goes there, that someone will be naked as well. For the same reason she goes there.

Strange and sad how something simple like this can place such a huge mental burden on people...


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