There is both a sauna and a steam room in my new gym. Sure they are nothing compared to the plush health club amenities that I had in Santa Monica, but what the heck. They are just a bunch of heated rooms. One with steam and one where you sit on wood, right?
Wrong. After one Sauna visit I already know that I'll never go back. Here's what happened. Normally you go into saunas naked, with a towel around your butt. After walking out of the men's locker room, past the communal swimming pool and the women's locker room, I somewhat quickly recognized that this was not going to be a gender-separated sauna. I put on some shorts in the locker room and waited a few minutes in the hope that the old lady, who stared me down my last trip to the sauna, would maybe disappear. Well, she didn't.
Oh well, I settled down in the sauna and even had a semi-pleasant conversation with some girl who just got out of the pool. That was until some dude, fully dressed in sweatpants, t-shirt and sneakers walks into the sauna while bobbing his head to the obnoxiously loud music coming from his headphones. He sits down, only inches away from me, squeezes his feet out his sneakers and starts mumbling to whatever tune his darn mp3 player is playing. It took about 15 seconds for the entire room to smell like sweaty feet and wet rubber.
Are you kidding me? Since when can you go into the sauna fully dressed? Was this was some sort of joke, played on me for doing the towel-around-the-butt-thing?
No, this guy was for real. After leaving the sauna and taking a shower, I walked past him again in the gym. He was now working out in there, still wearing the same clothes.