01/19/2013 - 01/19/2013 68 °F
We are jet-lagged. Our day began with eating in bed at 5 a.m.:milk and almonds. At 10 a.m., we finally all got organized and decided to go out for haircuts. In China, haircuts offer a bit more than just getting your hair cut. Head and sometimes upper shoulder massages are included in the hair wash in a salon. People sometimes will go to a salon simply getting their hair washed and blow-dried. The main purpose is to relax. Zhexiong thought it would be a nice activity for all the travelers, plus we could all use a hair cut.
At almost 11 a.m. in the morning, business seemed to be slow at the shop we went to, with only a couple of customers. Evidently the business does not normally get going until afternoon, with the peak business time in the evenings. The salon is spacious and reasonably clean with about a dozen chairs. Skyler and Ellie seemed to be really intrigued by the idea of getting their hair washed lying down. Ellie particularly liked being pampered as is evident from this picture.
Here are the two kids waiting for their haircuts after the wash.
When it came time for Skyler to get the haircut, his fear for haircuts overcame the joy the wash brought. He refused to get on the chair. Skyler mostly dislikes the feeling of small pieces of hair getting stuck on his skin, which was unavoidable in his previous experiences (mainly haircuts conducted at home). Eventually I had to bribe him, but it worked. The real situation was actually not bad at all. The apron they used had this soft rubber band around the neck that really created a tight seal around the neck. The design is actually quite ingenious. Skyler still frowned and tried to duck down almost the entire time. The young hairdresser was pretty good with kids though. He told jokes that made Skyler laugh and relax as the cut went on.
Ellie, meanwhile, fully enjoyed the experience. She got the head hairdresser of the shop to cut her hair without us knowingly arranging it. I have to admit that he is quite good. Ellie has really fine hair like MIchael. Prior to this hair cut, every morning when she got up, her hair at the back of her head was like a bomb that went off during the night. I even brought to China the small spray bottle we usually used in the mornings to dampen and straighten her hair. The style the hairdresser chose for her is short and thin at the back, longer on the two sides. It not only suited her looks, but also her hair type. I don't think the hair bomb will go off anymore. I am quite pleased with how her hair turned out and was quite happy to pay the extra cost to hire the top guy for the job.
After the hair cuts, we went to a shopping mall to have lunch with several of Zhexiong's friends. Like everything else in China, this shopping center is big. It has a big indoor mall with six floors as well as an outdoor section that surrounds it on three sides. I saw a Walmart, a Starbucks, a Pizza Hut and a McDonalds as we strolled outside for half an hour while waiting for the other parties to arrive. Here are the kids climbing a cart that was not in use. Both Ellie and Skyler were both quite happy with their hair cuts, so much so that Skyler actually wanted to drag me inside the salon for a haircut the next day when we walked by it again.