[Editor's note: This is the second post in our temporary "Two for Tuesdays" campaign to catch our blog up to near real-time.]
12/6/09: Taipei, Taiwan
Dear Nice Ladies at the Salon,
I’m sorry. I’ve never been to any salon, let alone one in a foreign country. My wife made me come after beating me in poker last night. (We played insane pineapple double board – like Texas Hold’em, but with three down cards and two flops – you should try it sometime. She hit a straight and beat my flush draw.) She was annoyed by the big tuft of hair that the barber in Kathmandu missed last week. Anyway, this is no excuse for my ineptitude.
First, I do know a little Mandarin! I even studied it for three years in middle and high school. I really have no idea what you were saying, but I knew that all I needed to do was answer “Wo yao” and we’d move to the next step of the massage/hair wash/haircut. For some reason though, I froze and the words would not come out. I felt like the kid who passed out at the Spelling Bee last year. Only he got right back up and spelled the word. I stood there like an idiot until you called the other lady over, the one who knew the words “wash hair.” Sorry about that, I know she was busy.
Second, I knew to go back to my chair after the hair wash, I really did. Especially after you motioned me that way for the third time. It’s just that when all the Asian women are getting their hair washed they look the same. So I didn’t realize that it wasn’t Zhou and Tina lying there and I just wanted to see how they were doing. I should have used my eyes to see that Zhou was already back in her seat ready for her hair dry. Sorry about looking creepy there.
Third, I know that when you hold two fingers together and look puzzlingly at me it means that you want to know if I think the length is ok. That’s not even Chinese after all! It’s the same reason Lego’s instruction manuals are always done in pictures, not words – it’s a universal language. Apparently everyone gets it except me. As they say, “One size fits all, unless you have a gigantic head.” And my head is pretty large, as you probably noticed during the cut. My problem though was I wasn’t sure how short I wanted it. I was fine with the old haircut and the big tuft – I wanted to make sure my wife was ok with the length. I’m sorry I made things harder than they should have been.
Lastly, I just wanted to say the back massage, hair wash and hair cut were all very nice, and as unmanly as this is, I quite enjoyed them. I wish you would have charged more, as I feel guilty about paying less than $10 in a city that’s not particularly cheap. However, I will not be going back to a salon anytime soon. When I get back home I have football to watch, iron to pump and lawns to mow. So please don’t think that I’m not returning because I didn’t enjoy it.
Thought of the Day: In a trip full of new experiences, seeing friends every now and then reminds you how important they are and how you should do everything you can to spend time with them.
Pictures of the Day: It’s hard to walk a block and not find a restaurant with the Curry name in it, but Jo’s House? Now that’s a winner. (Side note: Jo’s House is a loser – it is no longer in business.)