Friday, December 3, 2010

The Haircut

Well, after four months it was apparent to me that the natural blonde illusion was wearing off. What to do? What to do? The German stylists must have lots of experience with the whole “natural” blonde thing but the English stylists will speak English. I opted for the more challenging route, naturally.

I talked to our host and she recommended a little salon around the corner in the basement of someone’s house. I think it is the ONLY salon in Hopferau but that isn’t important... or is it? She told me to ask for Daniela. I found Daniela at the salon early on Wednesday morning and made an appointment for Friday. I discovered Daniela spoke very little English but had a good sense of humour.

Today when I arrived at the salon the chairs were full and a lively German conversation was in full swing. Daniela leapt up with a smile to welcome me and the entire shop paused in their discussion to witness the newcomer. Obviously everyone there knew each other and did not know me. A friendly silence hung in the air and everyone kept their eyes averted as I stripped off my outside clothes, donned the familiar black salon wrap and settled into the chair. I was now a member of the party but no one knew quite what to make of me.

Daniela got out her German/English dictionary and flipped it open to “at the hairdresser”. She pointed to “highlights/lowlights” and I nodded and agreed, demonstrating with my hands how the highlights might go in. She quickly changed from her dictionary to her “colours of hair” book and we perused the colours together. Another lady who had been sitting in the “waiting” chairs joined us to add her understanding into the discussion. The other stylist and ladies having their hair done added their own German understanding from time to time and soon I was using my sign language to assist as well.

After some time, we all agreed on “not too much hell”. I wasn’t completely sure what we were talking about but it seemed appropriate that I shouldn’t have too much “hell” in my hair. Daniela began the foil process and I sat looking at German magazines trying to think of short sentences I could say to share about myself. A man came in to have his hair cut and all the German ladies spoke rapidly. I recognized “English” and “Canada” so I knew they were talking about me. I looked at the new gentleman and he smiled broadly and spoke rapid German. I nodded and smiled back and everyone smiled and spoke German, laughing periodically while looking at me as if to share the humour. I have no idea what we were all laughing about but we had a great time.

People came and went. It takes a long time to have hair highlighted. Each time we all laughed and there was lots of German discussion. At one point the German stopped and I realized everyone was looking at me. I looked around and saw the woman who had just spoken looking at me questioningly. We all waited for my reply. I had no idea what we were talking about. Eventually, the man in the back translated “Do you live here?” I knew enough words to recognize the word for “live” and answered in halting German. Everyone accepted this and seemed to understand and this launched a series of basic classroom German sentences between us. “Ich habe ein mann, ein sohne und eine tochter. Meine tochter ist zwolf und mein sohne ist funfzehn.” I have no idea if I spelled that correctly. It says I have a husband, a son and a daughter. My daughter is 12 and my son is 15. It may not even be correct but Daniela understood and told me about her family as well.

As Daniela was finishing my hair, I asked her if she knew what “hell” meant in English. She didn’t so I explained as best I could. She laughed and spoke rapid German to the rest of the room. They all looked mystified and slowly I caught on that they didn’t know the English translation for the German word “hell”. One lady said, “brown is dark and blonde is ?” I filled in “light” and everyone relaxed and repeated the word a few times. Daniela said, “not too much light in your hair”. I nodded and said that I actually preferred “not too much hell” and she thought that was just as funny as I did. My hair looks heavenly.


maryanncart said...

I can't type I am laughing so hard. Your hair looks great, hell or not! That is FUNNY! Love Mom

Deanne said...

As good to hear your voice through your words. I also enjoyed a good giggle. I feel like I was in the chair beside you. Keep up the great blogging, I am loving my 'reading' trip through Europe so far.
Missing you tons. Not the same at SS without you.

Mynnette said...

I wish I could say your hair looks like HELL, but it really looks nice, not too dark, not too light. What a fun thing to remember all the friendly ladies and man, and you the center of their concern and caring- and curiosity! Sounds like you handled it perfectly and thus gave Canada a good name!Also.
Love, Mynnette