Friday, November 7, 2008

Overcoming fear

This is my fourth year living in China. Today was the first time I got my hair cut here. In a land where one of the most popular hair styles is what I affectionately term "the lion's mane", I didn't have much faith in Chinese salons. I had heard horror stories of many a foreigner who had a disastrous encounter with a hairdresser. I know that in China the person cutting your hair is the expert, and so, to a certain extent, has the freedom to do whatever he chooses. I also don't speak near enough Chinese to direct someone how I want my hair cut. All of these reasons combined together meant more than enough justification not to set foot in a salon. I got my hair cut once in the summer in the States, always giving the direction, "Please cut it into a style that will grow out well for a year." This past summer, though, I was itching for a new style, and I decided to go for it--even knowing that it wasn't the type of style I'd let grow out through the year. When I got back to China this fall, I told my Chinese tutors to take a good long look at my hair, so that they would be able to describe the style to a hairdresser. I strategically decided to take the great leap of faith today. There aren't many foreigners in my city and there is certainly no one to impress (sorry team, that's meant to be a reflection of my comfort around you). The next time I will see a large group of people who don't automatically gush "you're so beautiful" no matter what I look like (I love Chinese students!) will be at the end of January for my company's annual conference. I figured if I got my hair cut now, there would be enough time for a horrible cut to grow out before then. Anyway, armed with my faithful language tutors on "hair guard duty" and pictures of my previous hair cut, today I headed out to what is supposed to be one of the best salons in town. When we got there, they insisted that the owner of the salon cut my hair. They gave him a long set of instructions and went through all the pictures I had. The owner then proceeded to spend about 15 minutes examining every milimeter of my hair to learn about the previous cut. He then spent about an hour carefully cutting my hair. It turned out a little shorter and thinner than I wanted, but overall, it was actually a pretty good haircut--especially considering it cost me less than 4 USD. I guess there was nothing to fear!

In other news, late last night we had an 80's themed "Dance Dance Revolution" birthday party for Jennifer. Sonny recently purchased the game, and ever since my daily life has been to the rhythm of stomping feet (he lives right above me). Last night was my first time playing, but by some fluke I ended up almost making it to the final round. The birthday girl danced circles around me though. (Picture is pre-haircut.)


Mink said...

So, where is the post-haircut picture??? :)


Sarah said...

poor kat you moved from below Seth to Sonny's stomping! It actually made me kind of smirk (sorry).... At least you're in an awesome apt!

jwhitacre said...

You can't write a post like that and not include a "post" haircut picture!!!!

:) Jeannine Whitacre

Katherine said...

i know, i know...i haven't gotten around to taking a picture...soon guys!

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