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Friday, December 21, 2012

Shorn & Storm

Wayne’s $25 EC cut was about $9 USD, about what he paid
at the PX in the United States.  Wayne's barber is sitting
outside the shop.
Haircuts & Rainstorms in Nevis
Wayne’s hair was in his eyes, a point well beyond when he’d get his haircut.  Mine, normally perennially frizzy, now achieved a brillo-pad like consistency.

We’d both made a point of getting our hair cut from our favorite places just before we left the country.  For me, it was Jenny, my longtime Portland Oregon hairdresser.  For Wayne, it was the gals at the Vancouver military PX, whose service included a head and neck massage from their vibrator-gloved hands, for only $9.

That was 4 months ago.  It’s one thing to go to someone you know, it’s another to place your head in the hands of stranger holding sharp objects in a foreign country.  There was no way we’d wait until June. 

I almost broke down and went to seek some chi-chi place in Antigua, but I wasn’t really looking for a high end salon experience.  It’s just what was there, in the land of luxury yachts.  Nope, we decided to await serendipity and brave a cut from a locals salon.  Wandering Charlestown, Nevis, there was a barber or beauty salon on every block.  “This is the place we gotta do it, honey!  When the hairdressers are as common as coffee shops in the Northwest, it’s just meant to be.”

We stopped first in a salon.  The proprietor refused to do men, so we decided to divide not just our tresses but also where the deed would be done…  That meant a salon for me, barbershop for Wayne.

My cut, shampoo and blow-dry cost $60 EC (about $23 USD);
a respectable price.
My hair must have been extra disgusting; they shampooed it three times before conditioning then cutting.  The sink did not have the usual u-shape to cradle necks for shampooing; instead I held my neck horizontally while clutching the plastic shampoo bid around it, as instructed.

“My” hairdresser, who hailed from Haiti, and trained in London.  She chatted to her assistant and a boy toy who dropped in, in Patois and French and Spanish and English to me, all while competently cutting my hair.  Initially, I just wanted a shampoo and cut, but with Wayne’s encouragement – his cut already done – agreed to a blow dry.  I had a hunch she’d blow dry it straight, a rare event for me, both because it was rare for her to work with Caucasian hair and because it would less the blow of how much hair “just to trim off the damage” was cut.  She did.  Wayne snapped a picture as soon as we left the shop. We both knew one day would be longest we’d could expect before my naturally Shirley Temple curls returned.

Golden Rock is a former sugar plantation, repurposed for tourism,
with lovely garden paths artfully decorated, a dining verandah
and lodging.
We caught the local bus up to Golden Rock Estate, to see the gardens, enjoy the view and maybe catch a glimpse of the monkeys wandering there. We found ourselves quickly pulling out our umbrellas as we’d entered a rainforest, wetly doing what rainforests as we watched long monkey tails disappearing into the forest.

Even in the mist, Golden Rock’s
swimming pool emitted a turquoise
luminescent glow.
We missed out on Golden Rock’s views, but there’s something
to be said for seeing a rainforest in its most natural state.
From straight newly shorn locks to Goldilocks, sans the three bears, with moneys, in less than 1 hour.  Fortunately my hairdresser will never likely know.  And it is still a good haircut (photo coming in an update soon – a good reason to check backJ).  And now, 4 days later, my hair is still soft.  Wayne of course, is cute as ever, with or without the electrical gloved massage.