23 August 2013

Shear Terror

Yesterday I went and had my hair cut, which was a bit nerve-wracking. Since I left my most favorite stylist ever when I left the Boston area, getting a haircut has been a bit terrifying - I have a pretty high bar set for anyone that touches my head. Now, throw in the fact that my Dutch is only "okay" at best and that even when using English I'm not actually sure what terms will make the most sense to the hairdressers. So going for a trim is a bit more of an adventure than before.


I've found a place nearby that seems to do a pretty good job, so I felt comfortable going back even though I knew I would likely have a different person than the previous times. The first time, I was able to get through using only Dutch and the woman cutting my hair seemed to understand everything I was trying to say, and everything came out fine. The second time, my brain wasn't quite operating on full-power and my Dutch failed miserably, but the woman had no problem letting me carry on in English and was happy to chat with me in English - and it came out even better.

This time, things were... different...

Again, I had a different woman, but she just wasn't as friendly as the other two. First, my stumbling Dutch did me the disservice of accidentally telling her "nee" (no) when she asked me to take off my glasses - I apologized and explained that I'm still learning Dutch, but still... Strike one. Next, I got all jumbled up trying to say how short I wanted her to go and reverted into the English out of desperation... Strike two. Then, I asked her to keep thinning out the back when she was just about finished. She took the extra moment to finish it off as I asked, but was pretty annoyed that I wasn't satisfied... Strike three. She slapped some wax in to "finish" it, took my money, and sent me on my way.

The way the wax went on my head, I walked out looking like I just had an oil shower, and the crazy thought of, "Maybe I should just shave my head" popped into my mind without invitation before I could talk myself down. But as a friend once said, you walk out of a haircut "salon-ified" - you just need to wait until you shower and dry it yourself the next day and things won't look so unnatural. So I kept my cool and waited.

Thankfully, as morning came and I "Ace-ified" my hair, things were better, though it will still take a few more days for it to feel "normal." I'll probably still go back to the same place, but next time I think I'll wait for someone else.

So, now I put to you: What are your terror-inducing "every day" errands in a new/different country?


  1. I'm sure it's not as bad as you think!!!! And you'll laugh at me. I went last night and struggled with: the parking garage (getting in, finding the exit, finding the pay machine, opening the door, getting out). So there's that.

    I tell myself that this is all just part of it. But good thing I only had 2 drinks!!! I debated writing about it today but it would have been exhaustingly dull to go over every detail and step, you know?!

    1. You're right - it'll just take a few days =)
      And I think know which parking garage you're talking about - it's not very intuitive, but thankfully I wasn't driving.

  2. I just recently tackled this one... kind of. Okay, not really. I knew I needed a haircut, so I asked my Estonian friends to set it up for me (with a hairdresser friend of theirs). It was so much cheaper than Sweden (€28) and a lot less stressful. Alternatively, my husband just jumped right in and went to a local place the other day... and came home with a very Swedish look – men's haircut, but with side bangs?! It was okay the first day when she styled it for him, but the second day, when he had to put the gel in himself, it was not so great. I ended up trimming it over the sink just to even it out so no gel was required. Next time, I think he'll be a bit less willing to be adventurous. And me, well maybe I'll just have an excuse to go back to Estonia often.

    1. Oh, my... good thing your trimming skills took care of his haircut! Once you know someone good, it's hard to try someone new - I'd think about waiting to get to Estonia, too. =)


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