Hair of the Dog

Posted: July 24, 2007 in This is why we're numero uno animal, Travel

It’s that nightmare time again, the three month cycle when Andy bluntly points out that my hair’s getting to the point where I’m starting to look like Quentin Crisp and a visit to the hairdressers is on the cards. I hate going to the hairdressers. For me it’s part of a trio which includes Doctors and Dentists as places to avoid if at all possible. Unfortunately, the Quentin Crisp thing is a deal breaker. I’m not sure why hairdressers are on the list, possibly because when I was a kid my mum, unhappy with a particularly shoddy short back and sides, kept sending me back to the local hairdresser until she was satisfied with the result. All this meant was that the novice who’d been let loose on my bonce, just kept chopping off more and more hair until I was left with a skinhead; a sure sign in those days in the West of Scotland that someone had ‘nits’. This obviously left me with deep emotional scars.
What nobody really prepares you for when you move to another country is that it’s the little transactions, the ones that in your home country you do without even thinking about, that can be unexpectedly taxing. But learning another language isn’t just about conjugating your verbs, it’s about learning a new vocabulary for every single little area of your life.
When we moved to Tenerife, this just sent the stress levels for visiting the hairdresser through the roof. Despite having spent a year trying to learn the lingo before moving, we were utterly unprepared and often mixed words up. A visit to the hairdresser was an embarrassing disaster waiting to happen. On my first visit I was nearly thrown out before I began for asking for the hair on my backside instead of the back of my head to be cut. Then, deciding to take what I thought would be the safest approach, I asked the hairdresser to cut my hair like his. In my anxiety however, I mixed up ‘pelo’ with ‘perro’ and inadvertently asked him to give me the same style as worn by his dog. I suppose he must have done a good job as a Golden Labrador tried to mount me as I left the shop. God, I hate going to the hairdresser.

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