My Last Ever Trip to a Chinese Hair Salon (Probably)
I had a whole day to kill in Guangzhou before my flight back to London. So I decided to aimlessly roam the streets, get my hair cut, and contract food poisoning. Just, you know, all my favourites.
Upon finding a hair salon. I was escorted to the nearest ATM for the funds by a man who cheerfully yelled ‘LAOWAI’ repeatedly to the entire neighbourhood while pointing at me and laughing.
Having ascertained that I just wanted to have ‘a trim of the hairtail’ the hairdresser took his translation app, used it to kindly inform me that I was a person and charged me 45rmb.
I was then violated by the hair washing sinks* and taken back to my seat for 6 hairdressers to crowd around me and tell me that my Chinese was ‘not very easily’.
During my visit I only had to stop him taking selfies with me from unflattering angles a mere 37 times, and on just 3 separate occasions did he go out of his way to give his phone to someone else so that they could ‘subtly’ stand out of my eye line and take photos on his behalf (with the flash and camera shutter sound still on). Which I found much less persistent than average.
In the four short hours it took for the hairdresser to ‘trim my hairtail’ strand by strand (apart from the front which he cut by grabbing 2 uneven chunks on either side and suddenly hacking off about 2 inches) he complimented me on my nose twice and told me I was his goddess.
But in all that time. In all the, probably 5, hours I spent in that salon. Not once did I have to engage in small talk more complex than looking confused and saying ‘xie xie’. I’ll miss getting my hair cut in China.
*I’m not sure a back massage is supposed to happen when you just go for a quick trim of the hairtail…