It was yesterday, Thanksgiving, around 2100 China time. The sharing of an American tradition with Chinese friends-colleagues had gone splendidly. Only 1 thing left to do at a time when I’m normally tucked away in bed: get a haircut. Just a quick, simple trim.
Yes. After all, I have a date tonight.
In the course of one HongMei Road block, I walked past three hair salons. I’d written them all off on first glance due to their glamorous looking facades. I walk past them and several others daily and never expected to be a customer.
I walked up the steps and into a grand looking room filled with faux marble and mirrors. A female employee at the desk immediately welcomed me and told me I could use my UnionPay card there.
A pretty young lady escorted me to a chair and offered tea. Any earlier, I would’ve loved it. At that time, I never would’ve slept had I partaken. She placed a towel over my shoulders and abruptly began massaging my shoulders.
Then, my neck.
Wow…this feels great.
“Okay?” she asked.
太好了 (very good) Please keep it going.
Next came the shampoo. While sitting in the chair, my new best friend lathered up my hair for minutes, taking extra time to massage in the shampoo.
Then, she lathered up my overgrown hair again.
I was escorted to a small vestibule off to the side where I sat and leaned my head back toward a large sink. Nary a drop of water splashed my collar as perfectly warm water soothed out the shampoo lather. My specialist’s nails massaged my scalp concurrently.
Like a babe in his mother’s arms, I lay innocent, helpless.
Next came a brief temple massage…
Wait! Haircut? Oh, forget about it.
Very warm towels were placed across my neck and forehead. I’ll just sleep here tonight, I thought.
Eventually, the lady and I went back to the original chair. She had 3 Q-Tips in hand.
Like the gift wrapping scene in “Love Actually,” it was all wonderful–until a point.
I drew the line there. No ear wax cleaning by an attractive young woman. No thank you.
She departed to the side. A snappily dressed slender fellow appeared from out of nowhere. He carried a black kit which he placed on the marble counter. Quickly, he went to work.
Even in the midst of my flips, waves and general mess of thick hair, he snipped & snapped his way to success. Somehow, he hit the right spots and my hair’s lying about as flat and even as ever.
I was disappointed when it all concluded, way too soon. Only in China have I so enjoyed a haircut. Wait ’till I explain how much I’ve enjoyed the medical clinic…
Oh, total cost at the salon–tax included, no tipping: $12.30.