Friday, December 11, 2009
First stop was the Shanghai Arts and Crafts Museum set in an old mansion in the French Concession. This is a perfect spot for me, a museum plus an elegant old home. It seemed like everything in this museum was for sale, another plus in my book!
Second stop was a French crepe restaurant and it was actually brimming with chain smoking French businessmen, go figure.
Third stop was to find the long list of stores that I had circled in the clunky tour book. Lulu and I walked around for a couple hours. At every street corner I would tell her that things looked promising just a bit further down the street. When it started raining and we had not discovered any of the promising shops, Lulu declared that "we are indeed guide book people!" I believe this was accompanied by a glare.
Fourth stop was completely spontaneous, a chance to win over Lulu and her sense of adventure. I had taken off my glasses in the downpour, but I could see from across the street that there was a perfectly charming hair salon without any customers inside. I grabbed Lulu by the arm and dashed inside before she could start protesting. I had read volumes about Shanghai's famous shampoo service that included a head, neck and shoulder massage for less than $8.00!
The haze of cigarette smoke was a bit surprising and Lulu was glaring at me again, but we were going to have fun!
The service starts off with something called a dry shampoo. The stylists work a lather up in your dry hair and makes your head look like a giant Dairy Queen ice cream cone. After your hair is rinsed you receive a massage and the most vigorous Karate chops to your back, imagine Lulu glaring at me with watery eyes now.
I am now presented with a laminated card listing different services in English, so I have to retrieve my wet glasses. I manage to communicate that Lulu needs to have her bangs trimmed and I just need to have my hair blow dried. I can now look around the salon with my glasses on, oh my! I see things moving on the ground. I had to ignore the fight or flight response, our body's primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares the body to "fight" or "flee" from danger. I put my glasses back in my purse. Two men with long pinky fingernails were introduced as our stylists.
Lulu ended up with a fabulous haircut, I was not quite as fortunate. For a very brief period I held the title of biggest hair in China! My coif reached some spectacular heights vertically and also broke some records horizontally. Finally, Lulu was smiling.