Sunday, September 12, 2010

Great Expectations

I think this is my problem. Reality will never meet expectations in China.

I used to love to get pedicures. I no longer get them. It is too much of a disappointment and a hassle. Not relaxing and pleasant when no one can communicate and the results leave something to be desired.

Went to the hairdresser yesterday and I almost came home in tears. First, I thought I was back in the US at an airport, there were so many people standing around doing nothing I thought it was a TSA training center. Loud, as everyone was talking, in a Chinese sort of loud. If they talk to you-they talk so softly you have no idea what language the are using. If the talk to each other there is a contest on who has the best hog--calling skills. Second, every Chinese person who touched me or my hair seemed convinced that I was there for some sort of punishment. Hair pulling, head jabbing, shooting the water in my eye and then pushing a towel in my eyeball, twisting my neck-and this is the premier place for western hair. And I left with damp hair. All for the whopping price of 1300 RMB. WTF. And a hefty tip to the French hairdresser. And I never did get that glass of water (although that might have been fate working on my side).

Big Daddy asked me what I wanted for breakfast this morning and I almost fell on the floor laughing. You cannot get normal sausage or bacon here, the potato selection is nil, the fruit is not to my liking (nor is the guy with long yellow fingernails picking through it while he is sitting on the sidewalk), no oven and the toaster sucks. How many scrambled eggs with mystery cheese can a person eat?

There has got to be some secret society here where all the western people have taken an oath never to reveal the secrets. Or, they are all in denial that this is just not right.

So Big Daddy is off to Tescos, I am depressed I could not get a toe-hold in the Sunday NYT crossword, and it is raining. Chinese lady at the hair salon told me Shanghai only has one nice day of weather a year, either a translation problem or the first honest person I met in China.

1 comment:

  1. Having spent 5 of the last 6 years struggling to find those small but significant things that remind you of home, i can now (almost) get everything I desire in Shanghai - I realise that we are only distant cultural cousins, but if you need any help in finding what seem un-findable let me know and I will see if I can help.
    By the way the women in the hairdressers is wrong - I remember back in 2005 we had at least 2 nice days!