A visit to the frizerie = confusion and laughter

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).

The frizeria (salon) which is only a 1 minute walk from my apartment building.
The frizerie (salon) which is only a 1 minute walk from my apartment building.

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.

What have I done?!

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?”

Me: “Um….no?”

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.

Whoohoo... it's a new do!
Whoohoo… it’s a new do!

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!).

6 Replies to “A visit to the frizerie = confusion and laughter”

  1. That was a great story! You’re going to have more memories than you know what to do with! Good thing you have a blog to refer to. LOL! BTW – I think your haircut looks great! Hope all is well and that you’re happy. Take care and be safe!


  2. Sara, Is there any way to communicate by letter with you? If so would you appreciate that or is it better to use email? (I am a little bit “old school” however email is good for me too. I absolutely love what you are doing with your life in the peace corps. I can’t wait until you return home to talk to you about the adventure, and I want to hear more about why/how you made the decision to join Peace Corps. I wish I had known before you left. You remind me of myself when I was your age. I did some very courageous, independent things with my life before I settled down with Mike, and that was not until I was 46 years old. So, I use “settled down” loosely however, because with Mike, led by God, he has taken me down a few roads I don’t think I would have chosen. In retrospect, it is exactly where God wanted and wants us now. I praise you for stepping out in faith, taking risks and doing something to make the world a better place. You have great courage and faith, and I really can’t wait to talk to you in person about your experience. I have a question for you. Do you have the opportunity to go to church and if so how is that in Moldova? Peace, Love and Safety to you. Jolene Hulson

    PS Your new hairdo is pretty! however don’t let them cut it any shorter, because on a bad hair day there is nothing easier or more comfortable than a ponytail or quick updo bun.:)


    1. Thank you Jolene! So fun to hear from you — you’re welcome to send mail if you’d like, but keep in mind that it can take 3-4 weeks if it even arrives at all. Here’s my contact info: https://sarajoyhoy.wordpress.com/contact-me/
      So far I have been getting letters and cards from a few people but I know there are some volunteers that haven’t received ones they have been waiting for. Email is fine too, and of course it’s a lot quicker. If you’d prefer to email I can send you my address.
      I’d love to share more with you when I return although it won’t be for another ~18 months or so until I return home. It’s always an adventure when God leads us on these faith journeys in life that makes us see how much we need to trust Him in these places that are so beyond ourselves and need for Him to lead and guide us through them. Thank you for your encouraging words and story – would love to connect more!
      As for church, I have found a church here in my city that is in Romanian that I go to occasionally — there are many weekends I am traveling or am so exhausted by the weekend. Lately, I have been trying to keep up with Calvary online and stay connected to a church that way. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s