Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Friday, April 06, 2007

ufryzować się - to have one's hair done

I pushed open the door and a woman looked up from where she was sweeping.

'Er, I have an appointment for ten', I said and the lady smiled, 'sure, come in.'

She finished her sweeping and motioned for me to sit down. 'Julka made your appointment, right?'

I nodded and took off my coat, putting it on the rack above the three chairs set by the wall. The salon was small, intimate. After my last experience as an anonymous head on a conveyor belt, where people wash, snip and charge what seems like hundreds of times a day, the personal touch was welcome.

She tied the robe around me and I undid my ponytail. 'So, what are we doing?' she asked. Usually this is where I stumble and stutter, suggest half-hearted attempts at explaining my ideal cut, and fail when I realise I have no idea what that is.

'I was thinking something new,' I started off, 'much shorter, but...'

'How about we keep the length but add layers?' my new hairdresser cut in, her eyes screwed up in concentration. 'I think it'll look great, it's too long now but if we cut round here,' she grabbed a few strands, 'and chop up the fringe so it goes off to the side,' she swept my straggly fringe across my forehead, 'it'll look great!' she repeated.

'I just wonder about layers because my hair's so thin' I offered, but she brushed that concern aside 'you think this is the first thin hair I've seen?' I saw she was far better qualified to make decisions than me and willingly handed over responsibility.

After the wash and small talk, another woman walked in. She was the reason I was here at all - Julita's hairdresser. She welcomed me and asked the standard 'how long have you been here?' and 'what do you think of Poland?' questions. They were both friendly and open, willing to chat and not just about the weather or holidays...

After a while, in mid-snip, my hairdresser suddenly stopped, scissors held high and comb in her other hand. 'What's this?' she asked, pointing to her right shoulder, 'in English'. I couldn't help but smile 'er, shoulder?' I said, and watched, amused as she exchanged glances with the second woman. 'He was right,' she said getting back to work, and shaking her head. 'We're learning English with an English guy and he said it was shoulder, but the book said 'arm' and we believed the book.' I laughed, 'no, this is an arm' I said, demonstrating, 'and hand?' she asked. I showed her.

Julita's hairdresser went into the back room and returned brandishing her English book. 'Right' she said, smiling, 'you're trapped, let's do our homework'.

The rest of the appointment flashed by and when my new hair had been dried and styled, I was happy with what she'd chosen for me. 'Thank you' I said, running my hands through my newly cropped hair, 'it's really nice to have a new haircut.'

'How do you say that in English?' they chimed.

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