I haven’t cut my hair since I arrived to Molodova. It’s probably been about 9-10 months since my last hair cut and I’ve been putting it off knowing it would take time and energy to do so. On Valentine’s day I had plans that ended up changing and I found myself with a free afternoon. I mentioned to my host family that I wanted to get my hair cut and within minutes I was putting on my shoes and following my host dad to the closest frizerie (hair salon).
My host mom and dad recommended the frizerie that was closest to our apartment, but the thing about this particular frizerie was that the person and the salon they recommended only spoke Russian. Which presented an added challenge to my limited language skills… of Romanian. I explained to my host dad in Romanian along with hand gestures of how I wanted my hair to be cut and then he translated for me in Russian to the hair stylist. Next thing I knew I was getting my hair washed and staring at my reflection in the mirror.
My hairdresser tried to ask me some questions…I tried to respond… and before I knew it, everyone in the salon was part of my hair cutting experience. Her son happened to be there and he spoke a little bit of English and another man was there who spoke a mix of a little Romanian and English and between all of them we were able to confirm what I wanted. No hair dye, just a cut and somehow the word “fringe” was mentioned… and I was afraid I would end up with short bangs.
Never have I had so many men involved with getting my hair cut before.
When my new hairstylist friend got to the front part of my hair, I tried to make sure she didn’t cut my bangs too short, which we were successfully able to communicate. However, it was at then at this point that the added confusion came in… she started pointing to various points on my face to my nose and chin — me thinking she wanted to cut my hair that length. And I clearly didn’t understand so she yelled really loud for someone else to come out.
Another woman comes out that I hadn’t seen yet and they are speaking in Russian about me – pointing at me, my hair, and my face. She starts questioning me in Romanian, but I am having a hard time understanding… here’s how it went in my head and how it sounded to me…
Woman: “Este dificil?”
Woman: “Yawva asi wfl ami față?”
Me: “My hair?”
Woman: “Nuuuuuuu! Față!”
Me: “My face?”
Woman: “Da! Avwe avki livia aeil awiveo față aivemai”
Me: “What?!? My daughter? Um, I don’t understand.” [laughing to myself]
..although it didn’t go like this exactly and the whole conversation was in Romanian (plus I made up some words in there for affect, so don’t even try to translate). After a few moments of this going on, I began to realize that we were no longer talking about my hair but my skin. Oh the adventures… as she tried to schedule me that week for a consultation, I politely declined for the moment and told her I would have someone call later to translate for me. She happily agreed and went back to the room she came from while I laughed to myself about my life.
As for my adventure to the salon, I didn’t walk out with purple hair or short bangs — it may be a little shorter than I wanted and the layers are not exactly what I wanted either, but I’d still call it a win. I also may have felt like I was insulted, but instead I’ll take it as a misunderstanding and have a good laugh about it instead.
Every day is an adventure, it’s amazing how such simple things that I took for granted like going to my favorite salon back home, knowing my hairdresser and that she could understand me were such a gift (plus she is wonderful and quite talented!).