Mar 3, 2011

bikes, blood, babies, and bawling.

So today was another doozy.

For the sake of life, I'll spare you too many details and just show you pictures.

Let me first introduce you to my new mode of transportation (the pink one). My bike was stolen while I was home in America, so this is my new replacement. I went to several stores before choosing her, picking out a "car" is a big deal! It's hard to find bikes that "fit" foreigners, aka the seat can be raised high enough so that my knees don't smack my chin when I ride. Well this one's a beauty. I was told by a friend that she, "looks like Florida." A little pink in a black-infused world (most everything in china is black - people's coats, bikes, pollution...) goes a long way.



I was in class from 8-2:30, then went to the hospital to interview new students. There are a lot of accountants and tech workers from the hospital coming to English class, should be interesting. After the interviews, Michael and Christina were waiting for me in the ICU to take my blood for the last time!

and I got to see some orphans who are recovering from serious heart surgery. This one is 3 months old but only weighs 5kg...praypraypray...

then I went across the street to see how much their permanent hair straightening costs. And ended up going for it. (my boss handed me an envelope of money that I wasn't expecting, that might have been the final push.)

This was me at 7pm saying goodbye to my curls:

this is me 5 hours later!


It was traumatizing/awesome. (actually, I have a feeling that is how I will describe my whole China experience to my children one day...traumatizing and awesome).

They were hurrying throughout the process and I kept telling them to slow down. What took my friend 4 hours to get done in another city took these guys 2. That was a bad sign to me. I kept getting out my itouch dictionary, typing in "perfect" and holding up the Chinese character to show them, "I WANT IT PERFECT." Then I would type in 'excuses,' and show it to them and be like, "NO EXCUSES." (i'm a turd, that's how I've survived here this long.)

When they were taking out my hair when it was supposed to be "done" I freaked out inside. It was NOT straight, and this crap is permanent! There was no going back.

So, I got really quiet, really serious, and called Michael - my precious Chinese angel. I told him to tell the people to fix my hair or else all of the western world would reak havoc on their shop.

I'm not sure if that's exactly what he said, but it was sure darn close because those guys were serious after talking to him.

Then I texted my best American friends and told them to call upon the angels. We were gonna have some pryer group. Yes, there are revolutions and strife all over the world, but in that moment, we were gonna lift up my hair and beg for a good outcome. haha. Hey - He cares about what we care about, right? haha.

Anyways, they re-did the whole process while I bawled my eyes out. My mom called me while I was in the chair surrounded by asian men staring at me uncomfortably and I couldn't hold it in any longer. (Don't mom's have that power?)

Cultural lesson #07847385: Chinese people do not show very much emotion. So a large, blubbering red-head is enough to make even the toughest dude waaaay uncomfortable. They kept handing me tissues while I acted like a fool. I refused to talk to them except to say, "you messed up. you ruined me." We had had a great connection during the whole time and then BOOM everything changed when my hair looked like doo.

They re-did the whole process and I am decently happy with my hair. It's not perfect, but it's straight. I have to wait 3 days then I have to go back there for them to wash it and condition it. Until then, I have to be really careful with my hair. I can't put it in a pony tail or put any clips in it. I guess Sunday after I wash it I'll be able to see what I really did to myself.

I made sure to make a happy face and be really nice when I was paying/leaving. I joked with the guy who did my hair and thanked them for staying late. It was just me paying and talking with about 10 hair dudes standing around. I think they were all scared how I would be when I was leaving. The guy who did my hair told me that foreign girls get upset and emotional more easily than Chinese girls, I told him, no, we are just more honest with our feelings.

Basically, the way this straightening works is that all the hair on my head is now permanently straight. New hair will grow in curly. So I have to get it re-done every few months or perm my hair curly to allow it to grow back in naturally.

If they did it right (which we will see Sunday), my hair will never get frizzy. Ever. In humidity, rain, tornadoes, nothing, my hair will never have frizz.

My plan was to keep this up for about a year, then perm it in America sometime in my third year and have almost all my natural hair back by the time I graduate in 2014. Have this be my fun little China experiment. But the way my hair took to this treatment, I'm not so sure if I'll keep it up. I might have a perm sooner rather than later. We'll have to see.

What a day. What a life.

Here's my reasoning, just because I know that people will (and have) asked me, "why! why do that to your curly hair!" Well, this is my rationale: people should do what they want.

When I am old, I want to say that I did not let things hold me back. In the realm of adventure, I think I am no-fear. But when it comes to my body, I have been afraid to do things I wanted to do (like tattoos or nose piercings or blond highlights). I've been jealous of my friends/sister who do these things because I "never could."

Finally I asked myself, well why not? I don't want to be so bound to my natural red curls that I can't experiment and try things and not live in jealousy of others for being able to change up their looks. So I researched, waited about 7 months and finally yesterday, did it.

And you know what? I'm glad I did. I'm proud of myself. Even though it's not exactly what I wanted and I blubbered to my mom as she gave me a good ol', "That's why I say never to do anything to your hair...." Because now I will never wonder what it would be like to have straight hair. I wanted to do something, researched the options, and I did it. It wasn't anything that would affect anyone other than myself.

Even though I know I have to deal with the, "why!??!" from friends/family and hair that is probably less pretty than a day ago, it's about more than hair - it's overcoming fear and taking control of what you want. Grab life by the balls.

I wanted it so I did - boom shaka lacka. And now I will live with the consequences of weird hair. But I don't regret it. Not one bit.

You hear that, future child? Do what you want as long as it doesn't hurt others. Live with the consequences. Don't let fear/other people's ideas stop you.

Yes, all these life lessons span from hair...hahhha...


Til we meet again...



walk slow. xoxo.

1 comment:

ellie. said...

YAY im proud of you, do what you want. i hope youre happy with it. im sorry it was such a bad experience, but thank you for letting those men know not all women are meek and afraid to speak up. <3 you.