Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Korean Haircut

I've been needing a haircut for quite a while. I got one right before we left to come over here and with my hair as damaged as it is I feel as if I need a trim more often than people with normal hair. There is a salon like 20 steps from the front door of our building called Hwamiju, or as Al likes to call it, "Haircut Heaven". He's gone twice now to get his hair cut there and considers it to be the best experience of his life. I've been meaning to find out what all the hype is about but, really, I hate getting my hair cut and feel like it's a neccessary evil of life and a waste of $25 that could be better spent on a Mexican I've been putting it off.

I finally made it down there yesterday. I go in to a very beautiful salon (yet still very normal looking) and they take my coat and purse and put it in the closet and return with a pretty, green silk rob to wear over my clothes. I'm not exactly sure why because it's just over my sweater; it's not extra comfortable or anything. Then I'm asked if I would like coffee, tea or juice so I choose a green tea. I sit in my now extra layer of clothing and drink my tea while I flip through a Korean fashion magazine. After 30 minutes or so a man comes to take me back to wash my hair. When the seat is leaned back and I put my head down on the sink he puts a warm towel over my face and eyes. I really felt more like I was being attacked with chloroform but I suppose it's meant for more relaxation? Or possibly to simply block water from splashing on my face? Not sure. He very gently washes my hair and then the man who Al claims has magic haircutting fingers comes to take me to his station. He has very good english and keeps a flow of simple conversation going including my favorite, "Your hair is very light yellow". All the while a woman stylist just stands and watches while he cuts and it's slightly creepy so I just ignore her. After he's finished trimming I find the reason for her hovering: blowdrying! Both of them work together with two dryers on my hair until it's dry. She leaves and he puts the normal salon goop in my hair and sends me on my way. All this came to the whopping price of about $13.

Al might think he is the hair God but I really wasn't that impressed. I've had better haircuts. He didn't even fix it for me. The whole experience was interesting, though it kind of stressed me out a bit with the tea and the gentleness of him washing my hair. Part of me just misses an in and out trip, fresh-out-of-beauty-school 22 year old with purple streaks in her hair at Hair Inc. complaining to me about her baby daddy. None of that here. All in all, of course I will keep going back but maybe they'll skip on the robe next time.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sickness (boring) Outback (exciting)

So I've been horrendously sick for the better part of 9 days now. Two Thursdays ago at school...about mid-afternoon...I felt that slight tickle in my throat that indicates that sometime within the 24-48 hour range I will have a full blown cold. Come Friday morning I couldn't even talk. I go to school anyway and by the middle of my second class they told me to just go home. My body itself didn't feel too bad, I just had no voice so I couldn't teach. I figured it would be just a regular old cold and I'd be back to normal after the weekend, but, alas, that certainly wasn't the case. We had had a party planned at our house for weeks. Sort of a house warming party with some new friends. Just because I wasn't feel too well I wasn't going to cancel on nearly 20 people, plus, I was looking forward to it. So the party went on as planned, though I didn't go out to karaoke with everyone else and just stayed in to rest. My cold ended up turning into what I thought was a respiratory infection but in the end I had a severe sinus infection on top of something respiratory. I was coughing like there was no tomorrow. Three times at school I had coughing fits so bad I had to run to the bathroom and nearly threw up because I couldn't stop. One of those gave me a permaheadache which I have only just today gotten rid of. I can't remember the last time I felt that sick. Come Monday morning I was miserable and to make things worse the kids are on holiday again which means I was back to my morning working hours of 9-2:30. Having to wake up at 7:30 when you are sick is no fun. Plus, Al was working his normal schedule which means he didn't come home until 10. So Al gets home at 10 and then I'd go immediately to sleep. Let's just say it was the longest week of my life.

Finally today is Saturday and I actually got to sleep as long as I pleased. Perhaps that's all my headache needed was some serious sleep because I had decided yesterday that if it wasn't gone today I was going to the doctor. Thank God it was gone today because I did NOT want to go. I feel better today than I have in quite a while so we decided to go to Outback for dinner tonight. There are a few Outbacks and TGI Fridays scattered across the area and I found an Outback that's only two subway stops from here. It's ridiculously expensive but worth the splurge for a good normal restaurant once in a while. So we hopped the train a few stops and once inside and seated I felt just as if I was sitting back in America somewhere. It was a nice change. They gave us completely English menus (!) and I was desperate to order something that I couldn't make at home no pasta or anything. I'm not a steaky person at all and the ribs are like $32 so I got a chicken tender salad...and they have Ranch dressing on the menu (!!!!!!). Al got a A1 sauce here but a steak is a steak I suppose. There was even golf playing on the bar TV which made Al's dinner that much more enjoyable. One of the major differences was that the portions are so much...I don't want to say smaller because that makes it sound like a bad thing...I'd rather say they were proper portions. You go to most restaurants in America and order a meal and they bring a plate of food out that could feed three people, but it's meant for you only. (Obesity problem...??) When we first moved to Japan and would eat at restaurants all the portions were so small and I'd think, "how on earth is this going to fill me up?" Come to find out my stomach was perfectly happy at the end of those meals and not over stretched and so full that the food was making its way back up my esophogus. So over here I now expect and much prefer those smaller portions because I didn't leave Outback feeling I was going to barf on the sidewalk. Also, they bring free coffee or tea at the end of your meal, just because. It was a nice surprise.

We finally got some legit internet so we're going to start catching up on shows...which is what we are going to do now. Goodnight!