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A retired Aussie programmer from Sydney, I am an ardent traveller, student of things Chinese, and in retirement both an online teacher and online MOOC student. I write mostly about travel and experiences in China, and of interaction with Asian culture and people. Don’t expect controversy because, like a cat in a puddle, I tread carefully - but sometimes I just might throw in a ‘googly’!
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A Change of Pace - Haircuts and Beauty Salons    

By LaoGui 老贵的博客
343 Views | 8 Comments | 4/16/2019 12:17:32 PM

My first haircut in China

At home in Sydney



Forlorn and all alone the balding barber sits.

Glistening white tiles but no sign of hair upon the floor

Nor smile, nor yet despair.



There too in Jiujiang Lv

I saw the women, girls, waidi nvren

Side by side, row on row, shop after shop

Sitting silent hopeless forlornly  waiting

Like spiders in their webs for passing insects such as I.

Not hairdressers I somewhat wryly deduced.

Then one standing came down the short wide stairs

And hooking my arm in the universal gesture:

Yao bu yao missie, you kong ma? Bu yao!

Shrugged and walked on.



My first haircut in China

South Shanghai 2007 a place anonymous

an uninhabited urban desert of empty sidewalks

chaotic frantic crowded roads.

Effete male hairdressers are not my preference,

I far prefer the woman’s touch

but in I went  - ten RMB, twenty minutes pleasurable scalp massage

with the solitary female worker

and a whispered promise of more upstairs

declined with regret.

Number 3, all done, and out the door.



scalp still a-tingling.



 



Do you know about barber poles, why they exist and why they are as they are?  Barbers used to be the rough surgeons, saw and chopper merchants, bloodletters, and hang out the bloody bandages wrapped around a pole to dry, hence the red and white striped poles.  The emblematic pole seems to have added a blue colour - typical in America.  China follows the barber pole tradition and the beauty salons seem to have adopted it too, adapting it with checkered or striped black and white poles.



Photos: Shanghai Salon, Sydney Barbershop, Red and White Barber pole, China Black and white Beauty salon pole.

 


Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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(Showing 1 to 8 of 8) 1
#2019-04-16 12:17:18 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

During my many years staying in China one of many things that never ceased to amaze me was how inexpensive a haircut was and that it additionally always came with a 15 to 20 minute head and neck massage included. I would say that the cost usually ranged from between 10 and 20 percent of the cost of a decent haircut in Canada or the US, and the same massage back in those countries would have exceeded the cost of the haircut.



As you have alluded to, while you occasionally could not avoid having your hair cut by a male, the massage always was provided by a female, and she was usually very attractive. This is just one of the many things I miss about China. 


#2019-04-16 14:18:08 by liquidmetal @liquidmetal

Interesting observation from a Laowai.You know something about China,yet skim over in a polite way.Smile.Appreciate.

#2019-04-16 20:15:07 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@JohnAbbot

I pay RMB 10 for a haircut. In USD that's about $1.50.

It urally includes a wash and dry, but not always - seems to depend on how busy the salon is.

#2019-04-17 20:22:38 by melcyan @melcyan

I must have had many haircuts in Europe but I can't remember any of them. China is a very different story. My partner chose the place and the person to cut my hair in China. She always chose well.

I always heeded her advice in China but she ignored my advice for her about a Chinese foot massage and pedicure. Five and a half years later two of her toenails have still not completely recovered. The bargain Chinese treatment has cost her many hundreds of dollars since.

#2019-04-18 08:32:10 by oldghost @oldghost

@paulfox in my case I should get a discount because the hair is ever lessening :D

As you note, most Chinese students have trouble with (un)usually and it comes out as either urally or usury. 'Loyalty to Royalty' provides something of a challenge too

#2019-04-18 15:19:14 by oldghost @oldghost

@Meicyan Advice ignored
My ex would consult the cleaning woman, the taxidriver, the corner policeman when it came to investments and trading, but me, working in quant and in trading bonds shares options and warrants for many years - she always treated my advice in contrarian fashion.  A fortune flushed on the ASX and SHSE!  She never never never heeded my advice, and never seemed to regret the losses!  Such is the world. Marrying a gambler is fraught.

#2019-04-18 16:54:21 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@oldghost

I used to hang-out with a Chinese girl who always got 'angry' and 'hungry' confused. That was often good reason for a giggle, as no doubt you can imagine.

#2019-04-25 16:07:55 by oldghost @oldghost

@paul kitchen and chicken were confusions I often encountered. I wonder what they would make of chikungunya /tʃɪkənˈɡʌnjə/!? 

 

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