May 16, 2010

I have arrived safe and sound in Shanghai. The city is absolutely beautiful and I am falling in love with it each second!

I wanted needed to get my hair done as soon as I landed. (Couldn’t let Shanghai city see me fresh off the plane!) But I didn’t know any place, so I decided to just go to the hotel salon.

It took me half an hour to make an appointment. When I called the hair salon, no one there spoke English.

“Hi, I want to make an appointment to wash hair.”

Some Chinese words.

“Urm. Wash hair. Hair. Head. Wash.”

Some Chinese words.

“Do you have a hair salon in the hotel? Sa-lon. Sa-luuun. Se-lon.” I gave the word ‘salon’ so many different intonations, one of them has got to be right!


The manager comes on the phone. “Yes?”


“Ah yes….we have….wash….er…..swimming pool!”

Here I was, trying to get a blow dry and this lady told me to goย swimming.

After being passed to so many staff, I managed to get my hair washed. Not in the swimming pool.

The salon was quite unique. There was no table, just a chair and a full length mirror. The decor was really simple and classy; black leather chairs and nicely carved partitions. There weren’t any combs or shampoo bottles lying around; it was so neat that I initially thought this was some weird room where people just sit and look at themselves in the mirror.

In some places like Indonesia and London, they wash your hair in the basin so there’s no head massage. But here, just like in Malaysia, they wash your hair while you sit. Ahhh the guy gave me a good shoulder massage too.

The only thing was that he didn’t speak a single English word, except maybe “No English.”

So, it was another obstacle trying to tell him I wanted a blow dry.

He showed me some dye colours.

“No. No colour. Wash. Normal.” I pointed to the washbasin.

He looked so confused. I looked so confused. Sigh.

Another manager came and that was another 5 minutes of sign language. Some international phone calls were involved, and finally I got what I wanted.

While the guy dried my hair, he was mumbling some Chinese words. I was so conscious that he was cursing me. Probably saying “Stupid girl. Come to my country, don’t know how to speak my language. Go home.” Or he was probably nice and saying nice things since I smiled at him a lot. Or maybe he couldn’t have cared less about me and was thinking (out loud) what to have for dinner.

Suddenly the guy took out cotton buds.

I had never seen this in a salon. What was he going to do with it? Curl my hair with a cotton bud??


He poked it in my ear.

That’s right. I had my ears cleaned. Apparently it was part of the service.

Omg so embarassing. I felt like a 5 year old.

It tickled so much that I burst out laughing.

Thank god they don’t do nose services too.