Sunday, May 23, 2004

I need to talk about my hair just a little more.

You realize that we in the West lie (if we have to) about haircuts and outfits and such, right? We automatically rave, "It looks great!" almost no matter what. And damn it, I like it.

I may have mentioned the brutal honesty of the Taiwanese at some point. See, the myth is that Westerners are forward and direct, while the Chinese are all about saving face. This is true in some ways, but sometimes it's the opposite, depending on the subject of the comment. For example, I've had Taiwanese acquaintances tell me matter-of-factly that I look tired, that I have bags under my eyes, that I'm fat, and that I appear to be pregnant. (Not all at the same time, thankfully.)

I walked into my office this morning, which I share with four women. They all gasped and smiled, two exclaimed "Your hair!" and then there was a beat of silence. Then one said, "Short!" and then they all carried on working. Hello? I want fawning! I'm used to "It looks great!" (Cue fabulous comments from blog readers, whom I adore.)

I was talking to my parents on the weekend, and when I told my dad I'd had my hair cut, he asked a very sensible question: "How did you do that?" Well, I went to a salon that I'd spotted a few weeks ago, which looked to me from the outside to be the right kind of place. I walked in and handed a print-out of a photo to the woman at the counter and said, in Chinese, "I want that." Then, just to be sure, I made scissor motions with one hand at shoulder level. She got it. But it really could've gone either way.

I'm beglamouring you with my tales of living abroad, aren't I? Here's another one: To buy garbage bags last night, I had to resort to singing the garbage-truck version of Für Elise to the check-out clerk: doo-do-doo-do-doo-do-doo-do-do...

In case you feel nostalgic about the senior prom (does anyone? yikes), read this and recall the nightmare: "The foul formal frock fest."

Holy crap, Michael Moore's film won the Palme d'Or at Cannes!

(This link is for Maggi, and anyone else for whom my pop-up images fail to pop.)

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