The French lessons finished two weeks ago and I like to think that teacher would be proud of some of the things I’ve managed to say in French since they ended. Mind you, we had another row on my last day when she insisted on repeating the same series of sentences to me 3 times in a row. She was met by the familiar blank stare on each occasion but persisted, getting louder and faster on each occasion. Finally, exhausted after 2 weeks of intense concentration, I shouted back: I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE SAYING! It turns out she can speak English after all. Even knows a few swear words. Tsk!
We had been asked to each bring in a food stuff from our own country for a special lunch on the last day. It was a lovely idea, but again it got a little bit lost in translation. The rest of the class arrived bleary-eyed and laden down with exotic dishes that had been baked, boiled or roasted during the night. I arrived with a can of Guinness. Needless to say, I slipped away quietly clutching my certificate (of proficiency! in French!) before the lunch got under way.
It’s been so hot here for such a long time that I had a vivid dream one night about shaving all my hair off. It felt so good that, the next day, I carefully separated all of the hair growing on my crown from the rest of the nest, took a scissors, and sliced through it about an inch from the roots. Result? A mullet. One inch on top and shoulder-length all round. I told myself not to panic; that at least nobody knows me here.
I thought of cutting the rest off as well but it was clear the short look wasn’t really going to suit me. So, after class the following day (long hair tied back in vain disguise), I walked into the nearest hairdressers in Perpignan and requested a haircut. It didn’t help matters much that the heavens had opened and I was saturated by the time I met the receptionist, but I suspect she would have laughed even if I hadn’t been dripping all over her floor.
Anyway, she told me I would have to wait an hour so I went and sat quietly in a corner. During the hour, the salon became quite crowded with people waiting for cuts and by the time my stylist came to me she had an attentive audience. She picked up my hair, said “Zut, alors!” and asked me what had happened. When I told her she called the other stylists to her side, picked up the hair again and told them what I’d done. Shock! Horror! And then the jokes started. She/I had the punters rolling in the aisles. Every time a new customer arrived, he/she was asked the French equivalent of “Have you seen what she did to her hair?!”. Everyone was asked to give an opinion on what she should do with it. I timidly showed her a magazine photograph of the style I would like to have and that opened the floodgates. “Not this week!”, she roared (in French). “You need hair for that!”.
To be fair, by the time she was finished my head had some kind of shape again. And the crowd agreed that it will possibly look reasonable in 6 months or so. As for the pic, the consensus was that there is no chance, ever, of me looking like Jessica Alba.
I’m not buying that – I mean, what can you expect from people who visit a salon called ‘L’Hair du Temps’?