Monday, January 18, 2010

What not to do with your hair: Korean Haircuts

Our weekend was fairly quiet, and thankfully so after a long week. Friday night we stayed in, the cold is getting old especially when we walk everywhere and I get sick of having to put on and take off 3-4 layers throughout the day. Besides it just seemed like too much effort to go out and wander around town only to find that everything is closed. So we did the usual ordered Domino's pizza, which Ben has become quite proficient at, and watched a movie.

Saturday we slept in a bit then had some visitors. Allow me to rewind and provide a little history... last week Ben was awoken by knocking at the door just after I had left for Danyang. Understandably he thought it was me, thinking I had forgotten my key or something, so he jumped out of bed in his boxers and ran to the door. The thought then occurred to him that if it wasn't me he better put on some clothes, so he did. He answered the door to find a man and a woman. They simply asked if "Amy Nanney" was there, and poor Ben almost had a heart attack thinking something was wrong. They then explained they were Jehovah's Witness' and that they had sent two women a few weeks ago to which I had had "spoken" with, I say thing because they spoke zero English. I wrote about my encounter with them in an earlier blog.

They went on to explain that the women had told them I had been kind to them so they wanted to return and talk to us both. So Ben invited them in to sit on the floor and chat. They were there for about 20 minutes and then asked if they could return with some info and at a time when I would be home also. Ben agreed and the time was set for Saturday at noon.

Promptly at noon a middle aged man and his daughter arrived at our home. I welcomed them in, took their coats, and offered them Korean tea and oranges (being this was my first time hosting Koreans in my home this was the most Korean thing I knew to do). We all planted ourselves on the floor and they began to ask us some specific yet simple get-to-know-you questions. It was incredibly awkward for probably a variety of reasons but none in particular. We thought they were here to talk to us about their beliefs yet for the entire hour and a bit they were here they did not once say a word about why they had supposedly come. I must admit, we did do some research before they came because truthfully we were not too informed about the beliefs of the JW's.

Sufficed to say it was an awkward little meeting and we were a bit disappointed we didn't get to dive into any deep conversation. I think we were nervous but excited to get a chance to share our faith and when it didn't happen, it was disappointing. Near the end of it all they asked us if we would be guests in their home for dinner so that we could experience more Korean food. They assured us his wife/her mother was a very good cook. Our mouthes said yes before our heads even had a chance to think it over. By the end of it all we were thoroughly confused by what had just taken place, perhaps we were/are just over thinking it all. We'll let you know what happens this weekend.

On Sunday we slept in for real, woke-up, had breakfast, did our church, and then headed out for haircuts with Ian and Casey at Emart. I had been excited about this for 2 weeks now. Dying to get a haircut and just feel refreshed and maybe even a little pampered. I thought this place looked decent because it was brand new, clean, and used a nice name brand product line(Tigi) so I thought it wouldn't hurt to give it a try, or at least I was willing to ahead of anything else I'd seen.

Four Americans walk into a Korean hair saloon to get haircuts... there has to be a joke in there somewhere... only 2 out of 4 came out looking better then they did before.

Excitedly I volunteered to go first, I had printed out a picture of V.Beck's "Pob" (for all you saying huh?!?! Victoria Beckham's bob hair cut, its a classic I've had several times). I picked it for its simplicity and the fact that I would not need drastic changes to achieve the look. So I handed over the picture along with my list of words I'd translated to help the process. My stylist looked at the picture grabbed my hair, and scrunching it said "No no!!!". I was like umm, NO?!!!! I then, forgetting I was in Korea, not America the land of the customer is always right, said YES! why not?

I was then whisked off to get my hair washed and viciously patted dry (same procedure for Ben and they pat never rub). He then brushed my hair very gently, almost oddly, as if he wasn't sure what to do. Then I started getting nervous. He kept looking at the picture and then my hair. I noticed that when my hair had been 'washed' there were parts that had not even gotten wet, she had avoided messing with my part when she washed it!

Sidenote************just heard the rat/monster like thing in the wall just above me as I was typing, we're attempting to record it and we'll post it if we can capture it well enough.***********************

He then picked up a pair of scissors and began sniping at the nape of my neck. By the looks of the hair falling off I knew he wasn't doing something right. When I get a hair cut I can usually make a wig with all the hair that is left on the floor. After he finished that he again looked puzzled as to what to do next. He proceeded to trim the tiniest bit of my ends all around. He sternly said one word to his little assistant and she handed him the blow dryer then turn on the straight iron. A 30 second hair cut and now he was blow drying my hair like I was a crazy person going to a rock concert. They only size of round brush they have here is itty bitty. So he partially blow dried my hair then began to straight iron for the next 25 minutes.

He worked his way to the front of my head and I asked him again if he could cut my bangs. At first he resisted then picked up the scissors and I attempted to showed him what I wanted, sweeping cheek length bangs. He grabbed a chunk, and I do mean CHUNK of hair and gave it a few wacks... I almost died. I panicked and grabbed my hair back and again tried to show him what I wanted when apparently the light bulb came on and he said AAAAAAASH!!! Oh no! meaning oh crap I messed up. At that point I began wondering why I had ever been excited about this. In the end my hair looks fairly the same except when it grows out a little more I'll have a mullet in the back and mushroom in the front and my bangs are cut completely at he wrong angle but oh well.

Ben's hair cut was mildly funny as well. He spent a good 20 minutes cutting and it I watched the back of his hair grow shorter and shorter... he now has some serious white spots where he used to have hair. The front was hardly touched and his sideburns are also gone. How we ended up with a guy obviously terrified of cutting Migukan hair is beyond me. He looked like he should have known what he was doing, he was well dressed, very outgoing, and just had an all around I'm a good stylest vibe about him, but boy was I wrong!

The best part of the whole experience was that it only cost us BOTH 30,000W for haircut, wash, and style! At first I thought he said 50,000 and I thought ok, not bad, I was willing to dish it out. By the end I was glad it was way less then that because it was definitely not what I had in mind at all.

Ian and Casey walked out looking great! Casey got a great cut but she didn't exactly fancy his styling technic of blow drying her naturally curly hair. And Ian's stylist also was very afraid of going as short as he wanted but it worked out in the end.

After that fiasco, Casey and I decided to try the Nail Zone next door and get our nails done, it to being incredibly cheap. They did a fantastic job! Casey got a major job on her cuticles, they spent at least 25 minutes working on them scraping and buffing until she had brand new hands and then they polished them to a tee! Having seen a little girl peering over my arm to see what color I was getting on my nails I looked a her nails and saw she had the most adorable nail art. She had lavender background with white polk-a-dots and teddy bears on them. She sas probably no more then 5 or 6 and had tiny little nails. It was just adorable and I had to try it myself.

On top of my pool blue color I asked for flowers on my pinkies. These nail chicks are just pure artists. She dabbed on white dots and use a wooden stick to shape them with incredible detail. She then put dot of silver sparkle in the middle to top it off. That was definitely something I would do on a regular basis as it was quite cheap at 10,000W for a mani and 25,000W for a pedi. And do they ever get at the dry skin and cuticles its great, and Casey didn't bleed once which was a good sign. We're both have fairly sensitive skin but I was too nervous to have someone cut my cuticles.

While we were getting out nails done the boys did a little shopping and Ben found a great deal on a really nice coat.

Well, thats about it for today. Ta-ta for now!

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