Women will relate to the potential trauma associated with changing a hair stylist. I was prepared to try, though, as my man Abo has given me less than satisfactory cuts the last few times I’ve gone to him and our friend Cheryl suggested I try her salon. Saturday was a particularly windy and rainy day which seemed perfect for this event. I travelled half an hour by bus, met Cheryl and Andy at the stop, then the three of us went into the shop, Andy for a head and shoulder massage and Cheryl and I for colour and cuts.
This shop is not as big as Arachne and not as busy, which was a blessing really. They were able to put all 3 of us in chairs right away and the fun began. First, choosing a colour–I can’t explain what I want and can’t get what I want, which is blonde highlights on a darker base, but I get a book and decide on a straight colour with some red.
I am always impressed with the care that is taken mixing the chemicals in China. For the first round, I see one fellow upturn a large bottle of solution into a plastic dish without the benefit of measuring. Next, a good squirt out of the colour tube and stir like crazy. Although my roots are salt and pepper, he doesn’t start there, just carefully combs in the whole dish-full all over my hair. After 20 minutes, a small group of hairdressers study my hair. It looks suspiciously light to me. I ask if it is the same colour I chose out of the book. Yes, yes. The colourist then mixes up another batch with a bigger squirt of colour this time and reapplies. I wait another 20 minutes and have another check. The colourist gets the tube of colour and applies brush loads directly on the roots. Never had that happen before! After a short wait, they check one more time and I am ready for a shampoo.
Back to the chair I go. It looks fine! I can’t really see how red it is but so far so good. Then the stylist gets down to business. He holds his index finger and thumb a half inch apart. I nod and he starts cutting. It’s obvious that he knows his way around a pair of scissors and I am confident that the cut will be good—and it is. I am very happy with the results.
Cheryl and Andy are treating me for an early birthday present—thanks, guys!—so she offers up her VIP card and is charged Y198, the equivalent of about $36. Normally, I pay Y480, close to $75 so this is such a bargain! Granted, I could have had a VIP card with Abo as well but I rejected it the first time it was offered to me because I couldn’t figure out why another guy (who appeared out of nowhere) took my bill and wrote Y1400 on it. I have obviously been paying too much all this time. Although the bus trip is longer to get to this shop, I will definitely be back. I have had my hair done 4 times in Shanghai with only a 50% success rate. One cut was so bad it didn’t grow out for over 2 months and sadly, it was done in early June so I had no choice but to go home with it last summer. The cost in Shanghai averages $200 plus. With worse odds than Jiaxing, I’ll go with the lower costs. Why should men get all the bargains, after all?
Here’s the finished product:
The other day a new restaurant opened up at the mall. Now this is not exactly a rare occurrence, as frequently one establishment is closed for a month, they rip out everything and a new one opens up. The old one was a Korean Restaurant which we never actually got to. This one, The Nanyue, advertises itself as “So Cool, So Fashion” right on the banner with the name. They had this sign out front, which I thought might mean Happy Hour from 4:30 to 5:10 (Hey, you never know) but it actually means a 15% discount on all food from April 30 to May 10.
After Terry was surprised with her gift of the cut and colour, we decided to celebrate. The meal was okay – even though it was kind of point at the Chinese words only menu and pray and 2 of the 5 dishes we ordered they were out of and the kids at the next table were running around yelling while the parents ignored them and the manager, when I asked him about the discount (which was supposed to end yesterday), said no it was over. Anyway, we won’t be back but how could you not try this place once?
Today we went for a walk – this is a lovely spot in downtown Jiaxing.
The Shoe Blog
Surprisingly, we have never had a comment or a request for a photo of shoes men wear in China. We are always on the lookout, but until now there hasn’t actually been anything worthy of the Shoe Blog. Today, however, we give you a man’s sandals.