Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My first haircut in China...and other stories

1) On the way to work today, my bus kept going playing leapfrog with one of those trucks filled with water that you see on construction pits in the US that they use to spray the ground to keep it wet. But this one was spraying the entire street as it drove (maybe street cleaning? maybe broken?), and my window didn't close, so I was repeatedly doused with a mist of what I can only hope was not sewer water.

2) Sarah and I have been asked to give monthly lectures about a topic on American healthcare/hospitals/medicine, and she went first today. We thought the audience was composed of medical students, but actually, she lectured to the young members of the Communist Party. Thank goodness we weren't lecturing about free market economies or human rights!

3) I got my first haircut here today. I figured it would be a disaster (my first haircut in Chile, when I barely could speak Spanish, resulted in a full-fledged mullet). So I asked my officemate to write down "shorter on the sides, longer on top" in a way that the barber could understand. When I handed it to another officemate to see what it said (as the first speaks the best English but is a bit of a jokester, and I didn't want to end up with blond highlights), he laughed and translated. When I got to the haircut place, I swallowed my dignity and handed the man a card that read: "Esteemed hairdresser: I request that you use only scissors to make a similar hairstyle as I currently have, but in a shorter manner. Please do not add any dyes. Thank you for your diligence." He laughed at me, but it was a small price to pay for a somewhat normal appearance for the next few weeks.

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