I went to the hairdresser today. The one I went to last time ignored me - and after standing in the salon being treated as if I wasn't there, I went to another one. A new one.
No one spoke English and my Chinese hairdressing vocabulary is zilch. A girl who knew a little Chinese tried to help. We did hand signals for cut and shampoo, and I pointed to the colour chart. Hair cut? My hair is already short and the fellow didn't think I needed it cut. But cut he did eventually - taking a miserable 1/4inch from my straggly locks. Colour? Well, I am a blonde and I wanted to stay that way, so with the chart I pointed out the blonde hair strand in the example.
Why not black he said, then you'd look like us. He was serious! I tried to hide my mirth!
Eventually it was agreed. A little lightening of the colour of my hair. So his fancy lad went and came back with the tube of something in a packet and he duly mixed it and carefully strand by strand applied green paste. Much to my consternation.
After a while it was shampooed off and there I was - not lighter but many shades darker and with a purple tinge. Lots of handsignals, and worried looks, and laughing on my part.
So, I'm not a blonde any more. May be, just maybe the Chinese won't stare at me so much.
Oh, I forgot. There are some 10,000 students who knew me as a blonde and the looks of horror or excitement I am getting are worth bottling. If only I could.
Oh, well. Just another Chinese adventure to report. At least my hair is not green, which looked a distinct possibility at one stage.