Early this week I steeled my nerves and fearlessly entered a local hair salon for a trim. This shop was staffed by about 6 young men, I would guess around age 20, with varying degrees of puffy-hair styles. My stylist, Jiabo, said my 'foreigner' hair was much softer than Chinese hair. One country = one race in a big way; hair and skin types are pretty much the same with only a very small percentage difference among minorities, and even they are more similar than different.

The boys wanted to know if I wanted color or a perm, and they tried really hard to get me to agree to an afro! One difference in having a salon experience here is that they begin to wash your hair while you are seated at the mirror by pouring shampoo and a stream of water into your hair, just enough to get it good and lathered. After a good washing and scalp massage, I was led to the wash basin for the rinse and conditioner. The actual cut was not bad. It was another good opportunity to practice speaking Chinese with people who don't speak English, and have lots of laughter--the other employees really died laughing as Jiabo and I compared living conditions and I asked him which street he lives on. The name of his street sounds a lot like a certain male body part not often spoken in polite company, so the other guys totally cracked up when he told me his street loudly and slowly so I would understand. I was laughing myself practically out of the chair and I'm not sure if Jiabo got that I got what was so funny.

I must be doing OK to get this little bit of their humor.


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