Thursday, February 24, 2011

Being Blond in a NOT so blond country

You can only imagine how many fears a move of this caliber would bring on. Fear of leaving family. Fear of moving to a country where your language is the 3rd language spoken. Fear of getting sick. Fear of finding a doctor or a dentist. Fear of getting around. Fear of leaving friends and a job you adore. Fear of losing the identity you have built and worn for years.

Well, these are all valid fears. Some I have faced, some I have tucked away, squelched really, so as not to think about them. But my biggest, most pressing fear came to a “head” yesterday.

My first cut and color.

Some of you might have realized over the years that my hair is a “thing” for me. When a friend went to Beauty School, she asked to do my hair (let me think about that for a second, NO!) Kelly and I have been together for 9 years (since Kari was in 4th grade). Kelly and I have been through most of the Red kin color wheel together.

I was in a committed relationship with Kelly. I had plans for us growing old together. I was faithful to the end.

Hong Kong tore us apart

After one last foil, color and cut, it was time to say at least a temporary goodbye to Kelly.

Logistics has forced me to cheat.

I have gone to AWA (American Women’s Association) events for two reasons. Make contacts, and stalk the other blonds in this city. THESE were the people in the know! I found a few, and trust me; some women are very hesitant to give up their hair dressers’ name. “uhh, Bank of America Building” was one answer I got. (Should I walk the WHOLE building or can you narrow that down for me?)

Enter Sandy, who I met at my Weight Watcher meeting. Weight Watcher members are always willing to share info. I have found that to be true on three continents now. Sandy is not blond, but she has sassy short hair with great highlights and she was more than willing to share.

I waited a week before I called Ivy, who I was assured spoke excellent English. She did. However, I was a little worried that she could book get me in only two days after my call. Shouldn’t a great stylist be booked weeks out? I grabbed the appointment.

Roots wait for no one.

Well, the morning dawned, and with my map in hand (after getting detailed instructions) off I went. I had to make a new train connection for me and navigate a new train station (all good experiences). I did as told, but promptly, somehow, missed The Holiday Inn Express that was supposed to be my landmark. (Hopefully, she hadn’t slept there last night and woke up a stylist!)

Out came the map. THIS is a skill I am actually getting pretty darn good at. I found my way to her place right on time. She is on the 22nd floor. If I had blinked I would have missed the door.

Ivy’s place is a room. That’s it. When I talked to her on the phone, she said “we” so I thought there were at least two people. Nope. One room, one chair, one sink with a full couch for comfy hair rinsing. Also, a space age looking thingy that sets color. She has a tiny DVD player AND (wait for it) People and US Weekly magazines!! SCORE. We aren’t so different after all!

Ivy took great care to look over what Kelly had done. She made adjustments based on what Kelly had done and the chemicals she had. The rest of the process was pretty much what I am used to. Talking talking, talking, talking talking.,

Ivy spent years in London where she learned her craft and English. She lived in SF for a year before coming back to Hong Kong.

When you are with Ivy, it is just the two of you. No phones. (points for that!)

Two hours later, I walked out with “fresh” color. I am having a frizzing issue (sigh) so she gave me a couple products to hunt down...thank you Internet and kids that ship to us every two weeks! The cut is a little different …she thinned my hair out. With the heat fast approaching, not a bad thing.

It was not as traumatic as I imagined. I am the type of person that will get a whole thing going in my head just to NEVER have it turn out the way I built it up to be. Relief set in.

Time will tell if Ivy and I are meant to be together, but in the meantime, at least part, of one fear, has been conquered.

Next? And the biggest FEAR…my foil. That one is in five weeks. Stay tuned!

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