Sunday I went to Yamaguchi City for the first time. That's right, CAPITAL CITY. I met up with Naomi to do some feminine things that included haircuts. This was my first haircut in Japan. Back home Liz cut my hair, so during the last seven months my hair grew into something that needed constant tying up. And brushing. Ug.
So of course when we got there there was paperwork to fill out. I wrote my name in Katakana in public for the first time, but made Naomi fill out the form telling my age, address, phone number, blood type, etc. After we filled out the forms my hairdresser squatted in front of us and started asking Naomi what I want. We kind of discussed it in the car, but of course I didnt really know. Then there was coloring, I also didnt know what color I wanted. I didnt just want BLACK, because it's summer and blah blah. So there were some concepts I didnt understand, the word "line" thrown out a lot, and me describing what "blending" meant to everyone.
I was led to the chair, and other than the fact I was paying a bunch of money for all this, didnt really care what he did to me. So he gently ran his fingers through my hair a few times, then we headed over for a shampoo. He put a towel on my lap and my face. This shampoo took about 10 minutes. He treated my hair like it was made of cotton candy and he didnt want to break it.
Then the cut began. Or, cut number one. Since we couldnt talk I kept feeling like he was looking at my facial expressions to see if he was doing it right. Then he blew dried my hair. And the coloring began. A nervous little Japanese hipster came over and put "ear caps" on me. But he did it in a way to avoid touching my hair or body. Then he brought me a soda.
So they slapped on some color and waited. Wrapped me in super Japanese saran wrap and waited. Then, the hairdresser brought me over a Japanese copy of "Where's Waldo?" because I looked bored.
My favorite book.
I found Waldo, or Wally 「ワーリー」 on every page. Then there was some more color and touching. Then, a girl came over and led me back to the sink. She shampooed me again. She used three different liquids and gave me a scalp massage. I started falling asleep and I think I made a little pleasure-induced grunt at one point.
Then she brought me back to my chair and started talking to Naomi about me. I understood a little. Kinda. It's easy to know when someone's talking about you, and of course she's asking where I'm from, what I do. Naomi told her I speak a little Japanese (I understood when they said that) so she turned to me, opened her mouth really wide and asked, "NI-HON WAA SUKIII DESU KAAA?" I quietly replied, "hai." I was kind of taken aback. Id never heard a Japanese person talk that loudly.
It was funny to be on the other end of that "if I talk louder maybe they'll understand."
Then she blew dried my hair for twenty minutes. Then, the hairdresser came back and cut more. He cut my hair one-at-a-time. I swear. Then the girl came back and styled my hair. THEN, he came back and cut even more, and restyled it. Im not sure how many times this happened. I dozed off. He asked me in English, "Are-you-tired?" He speaks!
Then I was done, they returned my personal possessions from lock-up, and I had to sit and wait for Naomi's (even slower) process to finish.
In all, it took three hours.
At the end Naomi's hairdresser kept saying "I-solly." And they bowed us to our car.
I really like the cut and color, though.
(I just took that photo after my nap)