Getting a decent haircut certainly poses a problem when living in a country where one does not have a mastery of the Russian language, in a land where ‘initiative’ is not exactly at top of mind of the masses.
Yesterday, after enjoying a huge and cheap business lunch with Mr_Moi, I wandered over to the only hair salon I’ve ever noticed (the city doesn’t lack them, I just don’t notice them) in order to bungle my way through trying to book a hair appointment.
I walked and and all I could muster was, “Dobry den. Pa angliskii pazhalsta?” which means, “Good day. In English please?” Yeh. Crap. I know.
Before I knew it, I was sitting on a groovy chair that gives you a back rub to make up for the fact that the dyevushka hardly rubs in the shampoo and conditioner, let alone massages your scalp. Then I have to try to explain to her what is wrong with my hair. She doesn’t understand “It’s too thick at the moment.” She ends up accusing me of having ‘fat’ hair. Then she wants to know if I want it all one length, or longer at the back (oh, the 80s are so in fashion here). I insist on all one length, thank you very much, and tell her to do something that she thinks looks cool and that looks OK on my head.
So she begins to work her magic, one millimetre at a time, one question per millimetre, until eventually (read: three hours later), my hair is marginally shorter and there is a distinct mullet upon the nape of my neck. Then she thins out my hair – hurrah for that, cause I’m feeling chubby enough as it is, without the hair suffering the same fate. Except she only thins the ends, not the top.
Then she shapes the front of my hair to look like a bowl. I have all bulk on top, thin tendrils hanging down, and a bit fat mull en rear. I look in the mirror and realise – I look like a brunette Carol Brady. The original 70s – not a modern incarnation.
Welcome to eastern european fashion. The 80s arrived 20 years late, and they’re here to stay.